Housing won’t stop Romsey greyhound trainer

A Romsey greyhound trainer has been granted a 10-year permit to continue operating next door to land earmarked for the next stages of a major housing development.

Macedon Ranges council last week went against an officer’s recommendation to refuse an application for a retrospective permit for the operation in Knox Road.

The decision came after a representative of the developers of Lomandra Estate expressed fears about the loss of amenity for future residents.

Ross Coster said some of the more than 200 houses to be built in the next four years would be inside the 500-metre buffer zone recommended by the Environment Protection Authority. ‘‘We don’t think the two uses go together,’’ he said.

Before moving an alternative motion to grant a permit, subject to 16 conditions, Cr Graham Hackett put it to Mr Coster that dogs would not be banned from the new estate.

The council officer’s report said the applicant had kept as many as 35 greyhounds on the property since 2009 without planning approval. It noted there had been no recorded complaints about the site, which includes two large, air-conditioned buildings, whelping kennels, a training track, three runs and fenced yards.

Cr Hackett said many neighbours weren’t even aware a large number of dogs were being kept at the site. ‘‘This is an outstanding facility. Let’s let the applicant get on with her business.’’

Cr Jennifer Anderson said the proximity of approved housing was troubling and warned a future owner may not have such good management practices. But Cr Roger Jukes said the conditions, including a 10-year expiry date, would ensure the operation did not make life difficult for future residents.

The alternative motion was passed by a vote of 5-2.