Council backs away from ‘visionary’ plan


Jessica Micallef

Macedon Ranges council has voted to remove a “visionary and model” proposal for Gisborne’s future.

Cr Geoff Neil put forward a notice of motion at a council meeting last Wednesday to remove the Glen Junor property at 284 Kilmore Road, Gisborne from the draft Gisborne Futures project and to remove the site from the proposed settlement boundary and draft Gisborne Structure Plan.

The Gisborne Future project is a sustainable vision for how the town will grow and develop over the next 30 years to accommodate an increase in population

The Glen Junor property is 210 hectares of open space, and proposes to use 50 per cent of the land to create a walkable neighbourhood designed according to community need.

The remaining 50 per cent of the land is set aside for open space and community assets.

Cr Neil said his motion was not designed to stop the vision of Glen Junor from happening, but for the property owners to look at alternative options to achieve the outcome they desired.

“The first is to approach a minister and seek direct assistance … or a standalone self-funded planning amendment,” he said.

“Glen Junor is part of the Gisborne district, it is not part of the Gisborne township. It should not be included in Gisborne Futures.

“Glen Junor … can still achieve this dream but not as part of Gisborne Futures and not at the expense of ratepayers.”

Glen Junor owner Trent McCamley said he was shocked at the council’s decision.

“We don’t understand the rationale,” he said.

“We are doing something here for the purpose of supporting people in the community.

“It’s [Glen Junor] is deigned so that everybody has an opportunity to live here, whether they are young, ageing, living with a disability, have high or low incomes – it’s a diverse mix of housing.

“Our plans for Glen Junor won’t be part of future community consultation regarding the long-term future of Gisborne and our project simply can’t go ahead because of this.”

At the council’s June meeting last year, councillors endorsed the draft Gisborne Structure Plan for community consultation.

According to the council, 75 per cent of community responses ranked Glen Junor as their first preference for settlement growth in Gisborne.

Cr Dominic Bonanno said Glen Junor’s proposal was “visionary” and a “model” for future semi-rural development.

“I believe this should be welcomed in the Macedon Ranges, in particular Gisborne,” he said.