Development knocked back

Pic of Macedon Ranges Council Building. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 322848_01

Zoe Moffatt

A 700-lot development in Gisborne has been rejected by Macedon Ranges council, but could yet be approved by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Councillors unanimously voted to knock back the development at 89 Ross Watt Road during a council meeting on Thursday, March 9.

But the decision about whether to grant a permit for the development ultimately rests with VCAT, with the tribunal to consider the application during a hearing later this month.

Council rejected the application because it felt the development plan was an unacceptable response to the provisions surrounding the environment and landscape of the area.

Other concerns include appropriateness of lot sizes, traffic considerations, subdivision layout, landscape considerations, open space provision and design, cultural heritage considerations and native vegetation impact.

According to a council report, the plan proposes a residential estate made up of about 769 lots, as well as a convenience centre, childcare centre and various open spaces.

Residents addressed a September 2022 council meeting to voice their opposition to the development, with one resident, Samantha Izzard telling the meeting she was concerned about traffic impacts and proposed block sizes.

Councillor Anne Moore said council needed to create a “soft interface between townships,” and this development did not suit the area.

“It’s out of character for the area, it does not represent how the existing area sits,” she said.

“The amount of angst in our community this has brought about is beyond belief.

“I do hope that VCAT actually take a good hard look at this and think, maybe this isn’t right, because of the visibility of it.“

Cr Dominic Bonanno said he wanted to remind council and the community that the property is a general residential zone, however he did not think the development was appropriate.

“In my view [this development] wasn’t appropriate, which is why I’ve supported this, this motion and the community,” Cr Bonanno said.

“There’s too many unanswered questions for me and I do hope the member for VCAT does take that into consideration around infrastructure, in particular, the future needs of Gisborne and a potential Western link as well.”