By Evelyn Leckie
THE much-debated Lancefield Development Plan Overlay has been finalised, with the Minister for Planning signing off on Amendment C117 with a few alterations made.
The controversial overlay is an overall plan that affects three areas of the Lancefield township – restricting residents who live in the area to follow planning rules in order to preserve the township’s character.
The first two areas lie between High Street and Showlers Lane, and area three is situated south of Lancefield-Kilmore Road and east of Melbourne-Lancefield Road.
The amendment caused objections last year, with residents from the defined areas saying the overlay would lead to losing third party rights and property devaluation.
The sites have multiple owners and could be subdivided but council believed it carried the risk of ad hoc development that didn’t respect the town’s characteristics.
Council stated in May last year they wanted to create ‘grid street patterns, wider road reserves in key access streets, and street tree planting consistent in pattern and structure with older parts of the town.’
Narelle Stebbins told The Free Press last year said the overaly plans initally sounded fine.
“Then we found out you have to do a development plan costing about $200,000 for an entire area including a proposal of cost sharing for infrastructure. Council said they would not pay for anything. In my mind, the only way it can work is if a developer purchases an entire area and pays for it all,” she said last year.
The plans, and residents’ concerns were handed over to the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne who decided to delete the permit condition requirement for the provision of infrastructure.
The minister also ruled that no more than two development plans for each property owner in Area One, and included a new requirement that developments in all areas must have a specified safety rating in relation to bushfire safety.
Lancefield resident Robert Green said a reduction in development plan numbers could only be seen as an advantage to big developers, not the land owners.
“I’m still very bemused by the removal of our rights, being removed under the guise of a planning scheme by a local council, this seems very un-Australian this week,” Mr Green said.