By Jackson Russell
A four-lot subdivision in Sydney Street Kilmore was unanimously stopped by Mitchell Shire councillors at last month’s reconvened council meeting.
Picking up from where they left off after a marathon three-hour meeting two weeks ago, councillors all agreed to accept the officer recommendation to deny the permit for a three-dwelling, four-lot subdivision behind the old Colonial Bank building at 39 Sydney Street, Kilmore, owned by Rose King.
A total of 164 objections were received for the development, which is under a commercial zone and a heritage overlay.
Six planning permits had previously been issued to the site, including for four townhouses as part of a five-lot subdivision.
The application’s denial comes nine months after an application for a food truck park at the property next door by developer Alan Wilson was also denied.
Ms King said she objected to the food truck park purely on heritage grounds.
Mr Wilson was one of the objectors to Ms King’s subdivision due to the residential development being in a commercial zone.
The application proposed to build three dwellings behind the existing building facing Sydney Street, one double-storey and two single-storey, consisting of two or three bedrooms, an open-plan living area and double garage accessed by a driveway on the property’s southern boundary.
Council officers noted that with only four of the 78 shopfronts in the Kilmore town centre being vacant, available commercial land should be used for commercial or retail development to meet the future needs of the town.
Among the 164 objections, concerns included the use of commercial land for residential development, increased traffic, pedestrian access.
Council officers recommended the permit be denied as it was inconsistent with seven clauses of the Mitchell Planning Scheme, Kilmore Structure Plan and Kilmore Town Centre Plan.
North ward councillor Bill Chisholm said the decision boiled down to the proposed development being inappropriate in a commercial area.
“If Kilmore is to grow and we’ve got to plan for the future, this land will probably be extremely critical in the commercial sense so we’ve got to look to the future and not just the current residential developments,” he said.
“I think it’s important that we encourage commercial development, especially in this, you could say in some ways, depressed area of Kilmore, because we’ve got good growth at both ends of Kilmore and we’ve really got to revitalise the centre.”
Central ward councillor Bob Humm concurred, saying the proposed development was not like most in a commercial area.
“If it was a commercial business that was in there and there were units above it, you’d consider that type of thing but to be standalone units like they’re doing, I don’t think that fits in that area,” he said.