the roundtable – 26 mar
At the most
recent council meeting we had to consider a ‘secondary consent’ request from
Rochford Winery, a popular live music venue for the Day on the Green concert
moment Rochford are zoned as a special use zone, which means every time they
want to change the conditions around their concert series they need permission
from council (secondary consent). A way to stop this in the future is run a ‘planning
scheme amendment’ to rezone to a more appropriate zoning so constant and
ongoing requests for secondary consents aren’t required from council.
This has a
couple of benefits, a planning scheme amendment is an open and transparent
process with full public participation whereas a secondary consent is not.
around the secondary consent request was before council as it was ‘called in’
by Cr McAllister (councillors can ‘call in’ or ‘call out’ applications in their
ward). Planning officers had recommended that the annual concert series be capped
at 7,000 with additional capping provisions for concerts on Sundays whilst the
applicant was seeking to remove any cap on numbers for the next 3 years,
Cr McAllister put up an alternate motion that included conditions for capped
numbers on Sundays but uncapped numbers for the rest of the concert series for 13/14.
I was perplexed by the motion, councillors were well aware of the advice
provided by the Victoria Police based on consideration of 10,000 patrons as
detailed in the Planning Scheme Amendment which said “….discussed this proposal
at length with Sub Officers here at Lilydale each of which have working
knowledge of this venue. The overwhelming view is we object to this proposal.”
The Victoria Police concerns were around safety of pedestrians and risk to them,
lack of car parking and interaction of traffic and pedestrians.
shared similar concerns to the Victoria Police and said “VicRoads considers
this aspect of the amendment unacceptable as a 10,000 person event is yet to be
successfully managed on the site, in terms of its impact on the efficient
operation of Maroondah Highway and on public safety.”
heard first hand concerns from a local resident who highlighted amenity and
traffic impacts as well as the ineffectiveness of the Rochford Stakeholder
Reference Group. He raised many planning issues that need further exploration.
It was unfortunate that the applicant chose not to have his planning consultant
speak to the application as it would have provided the opportunity to explore
these issues more fully.
proposed an amendment to the motion inserting provision for 2 concerts at
10,000, with a cap of 7,000 on all other concerts. I was happy to second this
amendment. It would have given Rochford the opportunity to test drive concerts
at 10,000 capacity to provide both evidence to the Victoria Police and VicRoads
on how concerts at this capacity would operate.
McAllister questioned where the figure of 10,000 came from, what if a concert
said the figure of 10,000 came from the nanny state.
point I interjected and asked our Director of Planning where the
figure of 10,000 had come from. Mr Paxton responded by saying the 10,000 came
from Rochford as the carrying capacity of the venue.
said he was against the amendment, he said you should be able to sell your
product with no restrictions and congratulated Cr McAllister for her motion
amendment was voted on with only Crs Dunn, Cox and Avery supporting Cr Cox’s amendment.
said he echoed Cr Child’s and McAllister’s comments, there shouldn’t be a cap.
against the motion I talked about the advice received by the Victoria Police
and Vic Roads, to me it seemed if these authorities were highlighting concerns
and objecting to 10,000 then we should be following their advice. I also
highlighted the risk to Rochford’s concert series should an objector decide to
take the matter to VCAT (although this would be seeking a ‘declaration’ rather
than an appeal as it’s a secondary consent). I was concerned that there was
ample evidence to suggest that there had been a transformation of the original
permit, putting at risk Rochford’s upcoming concert series (I had received
planning advice that confirmed this).
I also highlighted
the need for Rochford to continue with a Planning Scheme Amendment process,
this is the most legitimate way to formalise amendments to the concerts and
would alleviate ongoing uncertainty with secondary consent requests.
McAllister in closing said she didn’t agree that it was a transformation. She
also said we didn’t have updated views in writing from Victoria Police and
VicRoads (even though our Manager of Planning had confirmed to councillors in
our briefing earlier that night that the Victoria Police views were unchanged).
talked about concerns that had emerged with the Stakeholder Reference Group but
failed to include any conditions on the permit to ensure this was more robust
and rigorous process. She strongly encouraged Rochford to progress the Planning
Scheme Amendment, something we all want to see happen.
uncapping numbers for the concert series for 13/14 (except on Sundays) was put
to the vote:
in favour: Crs McAllister, Child, Witlox, Callanan and McCarthy
against: Crs Dunn, Cox and Avery
absent: Cr Cliff
Labels: cr samantha dunn, rochford, secondary consent, yarra ranges