Quarry hits roadblock

By Jackson Russell

Mitchell Shire Council is seeking that a quarry is listed as a prohibited land use as part of its submission to the Beveridge North West Precinct Structure Plan.

The Beveridge north west plan is set on 1250 hectares of land bound by Hadfield Road, Hume Freeway, Camerons Lane and Old Sydney Road.

It is set to include 16,200 houses and has set aside seven school sites, four town centres, two convenience stores, four community centres and four active sports reserves.

At last week’s council meeting, south ward councillor David Lowe moved an alternate motion that specifically included the ‘identification of ‘extractive industry’ as a prohibited use in the Urban Growth Zone Schedule’.

“We don’t want quarries in the middle of our housing estates,” Cr Lowe said.

“This amendment will make it quite clear that this is council’s position.

“While recognising just how critical a quarry may be for the state’s future as an important industry, it is completely out of place in the centre of an area identified for residential development.

“There are lots of alternative areas close by that could be developed as a quarry that are not in the middle of residential areas.”

Other key issues raised in council’s submission to the Victorian Planning Authority included the Camerons Lane interchange, a Beveridge Railway Station and affordable housing opportunities.

“While the PSP does highlight different densities, this is only one element of affordable housing,” council’s draft submissions said.

“It should be acknowledged that this diversity needs to include social and affordable housing. This is a priority in order to ensure that the needs of everyone within the community can be met.”

The Victorian Planning Authority expects precinct planning to be finalised by early 2021.