Thursday, November 11, 2010

chirnside park golf club

report from the roundtable - 9 nov
At this week's meeting council had to consider a request from the Chirnside Park Country Club that the Minister for Planning become the responsible authority for determining the outcome of the Oakhaven development at the Chirnside Park Golf Club.

Back in September, 2008 council abandoned a planning scheme amendment which would have allowed the golf course to be rezoned to residential to allow an inappropriate development of 450 housing lots, which would have seen the removal of 1,248 trees.

However the Minister for Planning called the matter in and approved the rezoning and a Development Plan Overlay (DPO) to guide the development of the site.

The Chirnside Park Golf Club have developed a new plan for the site which proposes 620 housing lots and have requested that council approve the Minister for Planning as the responsible authority.

I could not support the request. In summing up my refusal of the request my first response was – you have got to be joking.

The proposal, which has changed significantly since the Minister signed off on the DPO, has not been seen by the community, there has been no opportunity for the community to comment.

It is an outrageous transformation of the proposal, to go to 620 lots, an ever greater vegetation loss, more traffic impacts with an additional 2000 traffic movements generated per day, a reduction in open space down to 20% - without even asking the community what they thought.

Not only was the proposal quite different to the original there was a request to significantly water down the DPO to change the setbacks and create grey areas by using terms like should (rather than must).

The proposal should be part of the local democratic process, the community’s voice must be heard and must be taken into account.

We’ve had enough Ministerial intervention in Yarra Ranges, it seems the Minister would like to make council’s redundant with the changes sought in the Planning and Environment Act.

There must be consultation, the community has a right to articulate its aspirations and must be heard.

There is no role for the Minister play in this matter.

Councillors voted unanimously to not support the Minister being the responsible authority.

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