PLANS to build seventeen units on a 5,484 square metre block in Drouin have been rejected by Baw Baw Shire councillors out of concerns for safety and overcrowding.
The units were to be built as part of the Balmoral Rise development at 16 Gerrard Street, and objections by planners and neighbours focused on street access and safety issues.
In moving the motion to reject the plans at last week’s council meeting, Drouin ward councillor Tricia Jones said the small road frontage was inappropriate.
“We’ve had a couple of presentations this evening about this particular issue and obviously there’s a lot of concern about this site,” Cr Jones said.
“The position is very inappropriate – this is positioned on a corner.
“There’s any number of reasons why this is inappropriate so I hope that we do all agree this is not something that should go through council.”
One neighbour of the site told councillors the development site was on “an absurd corner” and there was not enough space for rubbish bins on kerbsides.
“What we understood was rubbish trucks can’t get in,” the neighbour said.
“Rubbish bins will be in front of everyone else’s house.
“If the rubbish bins can’t get in, how are all these other emergency services going to get in?”
Another neighbour said the development was “not on” and was “just too much” for the site.
“My privacy, that’s just gone. I’ve got a balcony out the back and it’s going to look out at them,” the neighbour said.
All objectors said they were not against development of the site.
A report by council staff told councillors the site had the following issues:
- “A large retaining wall with a maximum height of approximately 2 metres is located near a portion of the northern and western boundaries of the site. A building report has not been provided that gives details of the quality of this wall and whether or not it is structurally sound or requires repairs.”
- “The subject site may be contaminated and the Site Investigation Report submitted with the application acknowledges that further work is required.”
- “Given the fall of the land, the density proposed is not considered appropriate… [as] units will create overlooking and overshadowing issues.”
The report said the applicant had been provided opportunities to provide more detailed plans and reduce the number of units and this was the fourth set of plans to be considered.
The report said plans still lacked “critical information”.
Warragul ward councillor Mikaela Power said she was not confident about the development.
“The applicant had been asked to provide information and they seem to have repeatedly not provided information,” Cr Power said.
“That doesn’t give me confidence that they are going to do the right thing.”
Mayor Murray Cook added that the council’s decision could be overruled.
“The situation could go to VCAT, which is up to the applicant to do that and it’s a matter of them,” Cr Cook said.
“The council will be represented at VCAT to defend their decision.”
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