Friday, January 14, 2011

yering golf course knocked back by vcat

Just prior to Christmas VCAT handed down their decision in relation to the Yering Golf Course. VCAT determined to set aside council's decision and not issue a permit.

Back in June 2010, council considered the application, it was very controversial and the vote, which saw the application by Eastern Golf Club approved was 5 votes for, 4 votes against (click here to read more) with Cr's Templer, Avery, Higgins, Warren & Heenan voting for the golf course to go ahead and Cr's Dunn, McRae, Cliff and Cox voting against.

Healesville Environment Watch Inc, Friends of the Earth and Bill Boerkamp took the matter to VCAT and were successful in getting the approval reversed.

In handing down its decision VCAT said there were many aspects of the proposal that were acceptable in terms of policies and provisions and opponents to the golf course did not convince the tribunal on these grounds to reject the application.

However opponents did persuade VCAT to determine that there needed to be more stringent permit conditions with respect to the use of biocides on the site. VCAT also thought that the planning considerations remained unsufficiently resolved in relation to evacation route in the event of flood. It was because of these reasons the tribunal set aside council's approval and refused the application.

Friends of the Earth on learning of VCAT's decision said "Our concerns about widespread pesticide application above the offtake to Melbourne's drinking water were also taken onboard by the VCAT in its decision. Strict conditions around pesticide use, including a rigorous assessment of individual pesticides and a monitoring regime, would have been required if VCAT had approved the development".

in weighing up the merits of the application I too had concerns about the chemical cocktail used on golf courses and in this particular case it's proximity to the Sugarloaf Reservoir intake pipe.

I am sure this isn't the end of this one and before long council will see another application for a golf course on site to consider.

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