Sunday, June 17, 2012

water bottling bottled

report from the roundtable - 12 jun

There's a site that's come before council a couple of times over the time I've been a councillor, it's the Water Bottling Plant out in the Don Valley.

Tonight it was before us again seeking a retrospective permit (that means the works have already been constructed without a permit). The works include the construction of seven water tanks, machinery shed, two shipping containers and a bore shed.

The submitter for the objectors put forward a compelling case, a very experience town planner herself, Ms Jacka presented a range of documents to council with irrefutable evidence that there has only ever been permission for two tanks on site even though there are seven on site. The photographs provided by the submitter highlighted how industrialised this site was.

Cr Chris Templer (ward councillor for O'Shannassy) moved a motion to approve the permit, but this motion lapsed for failure to get a councillor to second the motion. 

Cr Jeanette McRae moved a motion to refuse the application, to which I was happy to second. 

In speaking to motion I talked about the importance of the Rural Conservation Zone. It is a zone which recognises significant environmental values. It is not a zone that suits industrialisation.

The purpose of the zone is to protect and enhance the natural environment and natural processes for their historic, archaeological and scientific interest, landscape, faunal habitat and cultural values.

In no way did I think the application aligned with this purpose.

The Rural Conservation Zone also aims to protect and enhance natural resources and the biodiversity of the area and encourages development and use of land which is consistent with sustainable land management and land capability practices, and which takes into  account the conservation values and environmental sensitivity of the locality.

Did this application meet this purpose, in my view it did not.

The zone also provides for agricultural use consistent with the conservation of environmental and landscape values of the area and seeks to to conserve and enhance the cultural significance and character of open rural and scenic non urban landscapes.

A highly industrialised water bottling site does not meet this purpose.

Add to that the fact that the site has an Environmental Significance Overlay and a Significant Landscape Overlay, it is completely inappropriate to contemplate such a development in this location.

I'm pleased to say the majority of councillors supported Cr McRae's refusal motion.

Voting for: Crs Jeanette McRae, Samantha Dunn, Len Cox, Noel Cliff, Terry Avery, Richard Higgins and Tim Heenan

Voting against: Crs Chris Templer and Graham Warren

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