Gisborne activity centre proposal

Residents have voiced mixed feelings online about a planning proposal to rezone land to develop a Neighbourhood Activity Centre in Gisborne.

The site, 101-105 Willowbank Road, has been earmarked since 2009, and the applicant’s planning report says “considerable housing growth” in the region emphasised the need for the development.

“The subject site is currently within the general residential zone,” planning documents said.

“The current zoning greatly restricts the ability of the site to be developed into a neighbourhood activity centre as envisioned in local planning policy/strategic documentation, as it prohibits most commercial uses or applies stringent conditions to a limited variety of uses.”

The application proposes to develop a commercial centre, including a supermarket, a medical centre, a commercial space and eatery.

Macedon Ranges council planning and environment director Rebecca Stockfeld said the application was a part of a combined planning scheme amendment and permit application.

“Council will make a decision at a future council meeting on whether to proceed with the application. The process can take about 18 months,” she said.

Community responses on the PlanningAlert page were varied, some strongly opposed to the proposal, while others welcomed the introduction of a centre to reduce the pressure “in town”.

“A coffee shop would be welcomed or a convenience store but the rest is [over the top],” one submitter said.

On Facebook, one commenter said those in support of the proposal “obviously… don’t live within 500 [metres] of it”.