THREE planning applications, all sharing location issues, were knocked back by Mitchell Shire councillors at the November council meeting last week.
One in Wallan in the area, believed to be the birthplace of Ned Kelly, sought approval for the use and development of the land on the Epping-Kilmore Road for a clay extraction quarry. Quinn’s Cottage, the home of Ned’s mother Ellen Quinn, is on the property and is described in the report to councillors as “a very rare example of an intact 1850s timber farm dwelling.”
The application by Austral Bricks received 36 objectors which no doubt would have contributed to the recommendation councillors resolve to issue a Notice of Refusal to grant a planning permit.
The concerns raised by objectors covered a range of issues which were primarily concerned with traffic, dust and noise, devaluation of property and urban growth considerations.
The site is located within the Urban Growth Boundary and is located within the proposed Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal.
During discussion all councillors expressed concern over the location of the proposed facility and its impact on future development.
“I acknowledge the objectors’ concerns over traffic movement and I have my own regarding its impact on the history of the area. I don’t think I can support it at this particular time,” Cr Fiona Stevens said.
Cr Bob Humm acknowledged the value of clay extraction in brick manufacture to support housing development, adding he still had some concerns and could not support the application.
The second application in Wallan was by Optus Communications for a 26 metre high mobile phone tower in High Street, met with similar concerns regarding the project’s location.
The proposed site for the tower, which attracted six objections, is behind the existing BP Service Station and was agreed on by councillors as “not the most appropriate site”.
“It [the tower] will be visually intrusive and not the appropriate structure for the middle of the town,” Cr Bob Eldridge said.
Further south in Beveridge an application to construct a warehouse was refused.
The report to councillors described the Spring Street site as a “prominent location within the existing Beveridge township” and the construction of a warehouse was not considered appropriate.
The report added the built form of the shed in the prominent location was considered substandard in its design. One objection was received for the proposal.
The development plan for the existing Beveridge township is currently being investigated and prepared by council’s strategic planning unit. This led Cr David Lowe to suggest the project was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“The entrance to the town is not the place for a warehouse – I am not in favour,” Cr Stevens said.
All refusals were carried unanimously at each vote.