Housing development refused

Gisborne residents have successfully halted a planned medium density housing development on a large block behind the town centre.

Macedon Ranges councillors last week refused a planning permit for G2 Urban Planning to build 29 dwellings on the corner of Calthorpe and Fisher streets.

The proposal included 10 townhouses, a single-storey house and a two-storey building with 18 apartments.

There were 14 objections to G2’s application, raising concerns about noise, privacy and traffic, and claiming the plan did not fit with neighbourhood character and could result in local flooding.

Resident Wendy Black was one of three locals to state their objections at last Wednesday’s meeting, saying the traffic generated by the development would mean up to 400 more vehicle movements daily passing the driveway near her home.

Ms Black said the plan for 18 apartments and 10 townhouses proposed a total of 41 parking spots.

“With a possible 60 to 80 residents living within this development, there could be many more owners’ cars required to be parked on the street,” she said.

“My principle objection is that one of those dwellings exits onto Calthorpe Street, and the other 28 dwellings enter and leave from Fisher Street, opposite my driveway and the adjacent driveway, which is the entry to a registered family daycare [house)].

“If cars are parked on both sides of the street, traffic will be seriously impeded. Of most concern to me, is the fire hazard this creates,” Ms Black said. “I see no provision for an emergency evacuation point for the residents.

“Imagine emergency vehicles entering onto this access road while trying to get 40 vehicles out.”

Council engineers reported no concerns about traffic or flooding, and suggested the development would blend into the streetscape.

Design and construction consultant Bill Jacobs said the applicant had worked closely with council officers over the past two years to ensure that the proposal “ticked all the boxes that needed to be ticked”.

He said the proposed development would address the need for more affordable, smaller dwellings in the area for first-home buyers or people wanting to downsize.