The Mirror News

Planning Panel hears from locals on C77 Amendment

AN interested gallery of 19 observers watched presentations on the proposed C77 Amendment from community submitters at the Planning Panels Victoria hearing in Foster last week.

This Amendment to the South Gippsland Planning Scheme proposes to implement changes to zones, overlays and policy provisions for the towns of Port Franklin, Toora, Welshpool and Port Welshpool, and the localities of Mt Best, Agnes and Hedley as a result of strategic land use recommendations contained in the Eastern District Urban Design Frameworks January 2011.

Prom Country Aged Care CEO Rhett McLennan spoke in support of rezoning the Prom View Lodge site to Rural Activity Zone in order to maximise the site’s future economic opportunities and consequently the potential return to PCAC when selling the property.

He was followed by Toora resident and local historian, Cheryl Glowrey, who outlined multiple advantages of including planning provisions in C77 to recognise and further investigate Toora’s heritage assets. Her submission acknowledged that the amendment did not propose application of Heritage Overlays to properties and that a separate amendment and community consultation process would occur if this was proposed.

Submissions were also made on behalf of three landowners at Agnes that put forward opposing views on whether or not the rezoning from Farming Zone to Rural Living Zone should be implemented to all of the subdivision east of Agnes River Road.

In the morning session, during its case in support of the proposed changes, South Gippsland Shire Council called on heritage planning consultant David Helms, author of the South Gippsland Heritage Study 2004, as an expert witness.

Based on his professional experience including extensive work across Gippsland and Victoria, Mr Helms advised the Panel that the heritage recommendations of the Eastern District Urban Design Frameworks and the provisions proposed by C77 were both relevant and appropriate.

“The Panel Chair, Mr Trevor McCullough, has requested Council provide some additional  information by the end of this month, after which the Panel has four weeks in which to complete its report, including recommendations to Council on the amendment as a whole and some of its parts specifically,” explained Mr Paul Stampton, Council’s Manager of Strategic Planning and  Development.

“From comments made by the Panel Chair at the hearing, it is possible that the report will recommend the rezoning of two locations to be split off from the balance of the amendment to allow additional time for relevant issues to be resolved before a final decision is made.

“After receiving the Panel’s report, Council will make it available on its web site and advise all submitters. A hard copy will also be available for viewing if required. The Panel’s report will also be put to Council to assist consideration of a final decision on the amendment. Submitters will be advised of that Council meeting date when it is known,” Mr Stampton said.

For further information on the Amendment, contact Strategic Planning Officer Fiona Mottram on 5662 9837 or email fiona.mottram@southgippsland.vic.gov.au

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