Loss of land use rights concerns residents

August 24th, 2020Loss of land use rights concerns residents

A GROUP of residents are concerned that a Hepburn Shire planning scheme amendment will remove their rights in terms of land use and development.

The amendment, known as DD06, takes in a 500-metre zone around the Daylesford Material Recovery Facility area.
A council document said the design objectives of the schedule were to operate and manage the facility appropriately, reduce amenity impacts on surrounding land and limit further intensity of residential development and subdivision in the area.
But to do that, the council is proposing the buffer zone which greatly impacts on residents already living within that area.
Those impacts include that a permit is required to construct a fence, and all fences must be at least 1.5 metres high and solid or 50 per cent transparent with screen landscaping, no building used for accommodation can be built within the area and no balconies or private open spaces can face the facility.
In addition, any land can only be subdivided to a minimum of one-hectare (and no residential building can be built on it), and new access to any land cannot be from Ajax Road.
A flyer circulated via email, by residents concerned about the new schedule, say it will stop construction of any new homes and even the rebuilding of any existing homes destroyed by domestic fire, winds or a tree fall. Buildings destroyed by bushfire may be exempt but it was not clear, the flyer says.
“Within the zone, there is no provision in the proposed schedule for you to knock down your existing house and rebuild or extend to improve your property’s value.
“You will no longer be able to subdivide your land as previously possible. (Acknowledging that most people in the area are on large rural blocks, and typically would like to keep it that way, but if you do want to subdivide, you won’t be able to as before). Subdivision within the zone will be limited to a minimum of one hectare. But few will want to subdivide when the possibility of building on the new lots no longer exists.”
The flyer also says the 1.5-metre high fence is not in keeping with a rural area, the restrictions on balconies and open spaces are unfair and the value of properties will plummet.
Spokesperson Helen Tobias said residents had met with Mayor Cr Licia Kokocinski and Cr Kate Redwood last week and she believed both now understood the issues involved.
“It was a good meeting and I think it really is a case of councillors just not getting the actual severe impacts on residents,” she said.
“We are really asking for councillors’ help in stopping this going through and to be clear on what is in the document and appreciate it removes rights in terms of development and land use. It appears to have no strategic purpose.”
Ms Tobias said residents would meet again with councillors next week and continue to keep them informed.
Residents were making as many submissions against the schedule as possible. The residents hoped the schedule would be abandoned by council at its next meeting in September, she said.
Hepburn Shire Council replied to requests from The Local on the issue by saying:
“As part of Amendment C80hepb to the Hepburn Planning Scheme, a 500m buffer is proposed to be applied around the Daylesford Waste Transfer Station. The intention of the overlay is to limit the intensification of residential development in close proximity to the site which includes an operating Waste Transfer Facility and a closed land fill. The basis of the proposed DDO6 is the EPA Publication 1618 and Clause 53.10 – ‘Transfer station receiving organic waste buffer distance’, the latter applying to planning schemes across Victoria.
“In the preparation of the amendment, council has worked closely with the Department of Land, Water and Planning prior to placing it on exhibition. These checks ultimately ensure that when the Minister for Planning authorises an amendment for exhibition, that it meets the requirements of the Ministerial Direction, ‘The Form and Content of Planning Schemes’ and the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and any potential flaws are addressed prior to it being released to the community.”
Written submissions close on August 28. Email planningscheme@hepburn.vic.gov.au or call 5348 2306.
A video link explaining the residents’ concerns by Ms Tobias is on The Local’s website – www.tlnews.com.au and check out the zone on page 10.
Words: Donna Kelly

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