Sports precinct hope

By Jackson Russell

The rezoning of a farming property on the western fringe of Kilmore could open up an opportunity to develop a new sporting precinct, and land for a secondary school.

After a 14-year wait, a property at 40 Butlers Road, Kilmore, will be rezoned from farming to general residential land.

Mitchell Shire Council unanimously adopted a Planning Amendment C130 to rezone 40 Butlers Road, which will be forwarded to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne for approval.

The 18-hectare site, located to the south of Kilmore-Lancefield Road, was identified in the Kilmore Structure Plan 2016 as a priority development site, with the land also earmarked for a new secondary school.

Council entered into an agreement in February 2010, requiring the landowner to provide a minimum of five hectares or 28 per cent of the site to council for active open space, including sports facilities, provided the remaining land could be used for residential development.

Central Ward councillor Bob Humm said a new football and cricket ground was desperately needed with more than 500 children registered for junior football and Auskick.

“The cricket club needs another ground badly too so I would hope it would become a combined junior cricket and football,” he said.

“My understanding of the original plans is that there was going to be room for two grounds with room for a soccer pitch as well, so you’d have football, cricket and soccer in the same area.

“My wish list would include a hard-surface athletics track which would serve a lot of the shire. The closest one to here is Epping and going the other way it’s either Bendigo or Shepparton.”

Cr Humm said the development had to be incorporated into the Kilmore Structure Plan and the State Government’s plans for the Kilmore Bypass caused the delay.
“They continually used the Kilmore Bypass as their reasoning as to why they weren’t rezoning the land,” he said.

“If the bypass had gone to the east of Kilmore, I think it would’ve been through a lot faster as more panel reports had to be done when the bypass moved from east to west which was frustrating.”

Cr Humm said the rezoning had been in the making since 2005.

“There have been four different panels and originally it goes back to something that was done with the Kilmore Structure Plan, which looked at how Kilmore was going to grow in 2004,” he said.

“Former Premier Steve Bracks was here at the football one Saturday to see how the growth of Kilmore was going to go along with then Planning Minister Justin Madden.”
Cr Humm said with land for a school planned for the area, he hoped the State Government was able to provide funding assistance.

“I’m hoping that somewhere in that $50 million boost for the Growing Suburbs Fund that the current government would give support to Kilmore for works for the facilities, considering the secondary school is going in the same precinct,” he said.

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