SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council has given the go-ahead to a seven-unit development and subdivision at Sandy Point.
This will take to ten the number of units at the Beach Parade site. Only three units were completed by the time the original 2004 planning permit lapsed.
The application for the development and subdivision was referred to Council as 111 objections to the proposal were received. The main concern raised by objectors was that the development was not in line with the character of Sandy Point. Shire officers, however, examined the objections, of which 109 were identical, with only different names, addresses and signatures, and recommended that on balance Council should approve the development and subdivision.
All three Coastal Promontory Ward Councillors – Mohya Davies, Jeanette Harding and Kieran Kennedy – spoke up when the development was debated at the June meeting of Council.
Cr Davies acknowledged that the project had had a fraught history, but she said that she didn’t believe the development would affect the community “overly much.”
“It has an interesting design and fits in with the emerging character of Sandy Point,” she asserted. “It provides much-needed roofed accommodation near the shops and I think it is an appropriate development for Sandy Point.”
The objectors, said Cr Kennedy, were particularly concerned that the units would not fit in with the neighbourhood character. “But the neighbourhood character of Sandy Point is evolving. Just across the road from the development the newly built community centre is almost the same height as the units.”
Cr Kennedy said the development would create local employment and it was to be welcomed in South Gippsland. “It’s exactly the sort of accommodation that the tourism industry is looking for, especially in the winter months. It’s a great little project and it’ll be good for our local economy in many ways.”
Cr Harding reminded everyone of the stir caused in Sandy Point back in about 2001 when the ‘pole house’ was constructed. Since then, she said, the character of Sandy Point has changed. “It’s grown up. People are interested in developing their town. I hope this project goes through. I believe it has majority support in the community.”
Council gave unanimous support to the development and subdivision.