Thumbs up for Mount Macedon rezone

The creation of a special-use zone designed to ensure appropriate development in Mount Macedon is a step closer after Macedon Ranges council endorsed a report recommending a change from the existing rural conservation zone.

Current zoning allows permits to be issued for uses including animal boarding, landscape gardening supplies, carparks, agriculture and schools.

But the report said the new zone would exclude uses ‘‘more suited to a larger commercial centre’’ and ensure developments were consistent with the village’s tourist and residential market.

Cr John Letchford said development of the plan would include extensive consultation over several years. ‘‘The community is enthusiastic about this. It’s something that’s been long overdue.’’

Cr Letchford, who successfully moved an amendment specifying that the council continue to liaise with the community about the preparation of design guidelines, said residents would help decide ‘‘what goes in and what fits’’.

Cr Jennifer Anderson said she was concerned some residents were still confused about what the changes meant and that the plan might contain some loopholes.

Guidelines and a final zone schedule will be presented to a future council meeting before a planning scheme amendment is sought.

The council will also ask the planning minister to authorise the preparation of an amendment to create a special-use zone near Kyneton racecourse.