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Council to review planners’ decision

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council has shown its willingness to allow applicants for certain planning permits to present their case to councillors and not just planners.

Council last Wednesday voted to review an application by Mardan’s Graeme and Rosemary Trease to realign their property boundaries in order to separate a 30 acre biodynamic grazing operation from their current dairy.

The Treases applied to council to restructure two titles on their 320 acre property, with the property now over two titles, each of 160 acres.

Council planners only wanted to give the Treases 4.1ha and a house, instead of 30 acres and a house, as the South Gippsland Planning Scheme strongly discourages applications with an area of more than two hectares for the dwelling lot.

At the October council meeting, council voted to call in the Treases’ planning application for review.

That prompted Cr Meg Edwards to submit a notice of rescission for last Wednesday’s council meeting. She said debate at the October meeting had centred on the merits of the application rather than council’s delegation under the planning scheme.

She was concerned that by calling in applications, councillors could politically influence permit applications, and said the Treases’ application risked the loss of agricultural land. However her motion failed to receive enough support.

Cr Don Hill said her reasoning was “incomprehensible”, with councils across Australia able to call in applications.

He said in the Treases’ case, planners had interpreted the planning scheme differently.

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Cr Jeremy Rich backed him, saying the Treases “followed all the rules only to end up down the dead end path”.

Cr Andrew McEwen said the applicant was a boundary realignment but planners were treating it as a rural subdivision.

“We need to be supporting small scale intensive farming,” he said.

Cr Aaron Brown had faith in council planners’ decision, noting, “whatever happens, this item, I believe, it will set up a strong precedence for the shire”.

Cr Hill also lodged a notice of rescission in a bid to counteract Cr Edward’s motion, should it have passed.

Council will now consider the Treases’ application at the December 20 council meeting.

The Treases addressed council last Wednesday before the rescission motions were debated.

Mrs Trease argued the case for the application to be considered as a boundary realignment to preserve the existing infrastructure, and ensure the biodynamic and dairying operations remained viable.

“We do not want to remove any of our land from agricultural production,” she said.

She said 4.1ha would not be a viable operation. The Treases preferred a 50 acre realignment, however that would have created angles in the boundary, which she said council planners did not like.

Stating their case: Mardan couple Graeme and Rosemary Trease discuss their planning permit application with South Gippsland Shire Councillor Don Hill last Wednesday.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23349

Posted by on Nov 28 2017. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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