Sydney Street planning in the spotlight

By Evelyn Leckie

A proposed residential development in Sydney Street, Kilmore, has attracted a signficant amount of objections, just months after a food truck proposal planned for next door was knocked back by Mitchell Shire Council.

The objections oppose resident Rose King’s proposed three-unit development to be built at the rear site of her 39 Sydney Street premises, formally the old Colonial Bank.

Developer Alan Wilson from 37 Sydney Street, whose property abuts 39 Sydney Street, said he was one of many objectors to the subdivision due to the residential development being in a commercial zone.

Last year Mr Wilson planned to transform the back of his property to a gourmet food truck park, but the application was knocked back due to heritage protection concerns.

The heritage protection concern surrounded a bluestone building that sits on Mr Wilson’s property adjacent to the old Colonial Bank.

Mr Wilson’s previous plans required the demolition of the bluestone building, formally Mrs Mac’s pie shop, to make way for driveway access to the back of his property in order to access the proposed commercial zone.

The food truck plans received 17 objections with Mitchell Shire councillor Rob Eldridge saying the plans were ‘smack bang in the middle of a heritage area.’

Ms King said she objected to the food truck plans last year purely on heritage grounds.

Now Ms King’s application for a residential development is in the spotlight.

Mitchell Shire Council could not confirm the number of official objections, but said there had been a larger number of objections lodged than usual for a project of this size.

Ex-Assumption College student Joshua Parkinson said he gathered 160 objections to the subdivision application.

“The application for a subdivision next to the proposed location of the food truck park would be a huge step backwards for the future of Kilmore,” Mr Parkinson said.

“The young people of this shire don’t want to see more wastage of the limited commercially zoned area.

“The Mitchell Shire Council’s decision to reject the food truck park application, was another example of why young people in this area find it hard to secure exciting job opportunities within our shire.”

Mitchell Shire development and infrastructure director Mike McIntosh said council had been contacted by several people who were unaware their name was associated with the objection.

“Council opted to send a second letter to objectors to seek confirmation that their objection was valid. In response a number of people contacted council to formally disassociate themselves from this application and withdraw their objection,” Mr McIntosh said.

Ms King said there were a number of residences already existing along the particular stretch of Melbourne Street, parallel to Sydney Street, so an objection to more residences didn’t make sense.

“Kilmore has trouble filling commercial premises on Sydney Street with viable businesses so insisting property on Melbourne Street should be retained for commercial use is pretty silly,” Ms King said.

“Contrary to what some people believe, our objection to the food van proposal was purely on heritage grounds.”