THE City of Whittlesea will adopt a planning scheme amendment to apply public acquisition overlays on land required to facilitate the ‘long-planned’ upgrade of an existing intersection in Wollert.
Council will apply overlays on two parcels of land on two corners of the intersection that are crucial to construction at Boundary and Epping Road, which will alleviate growing traffic congestion.
Council will also write to the Department of Transport and state members of Parliament to request the timely acquisition of a third parcel of land, which is also necessary for this development.
“It’s an identified key piece of infrastructure required to support growth and development in this area,” City of Whittlesea director planning and development Justin O’Meara said at the March Whittlesea council meeting.
At the meeting, a report was presented that asserted the current intersection at Epping Road and Boundary Road, including the Bridge Inn Road, did not have the capacity to safely cater for significant new growth.
It stated the intersection was critical both in terms of servicing the precinct but also to the transport network for the broader Northern Growth Corridor.
The report stated the intersection at Boundary Road and Epping Road was already at capacity and will continue to be impacted as further development occurs.
“It’s definitely very much needed and the traffic volumes in the area are getting to a point where it’s definitely needed in the very near future,” Mr O’Meara said.
“The proposed public acquisition overlay for these two parcels of land are within council’s control to acquire if this amendment goes through and the overlays are put in place. However we really require the Department of Transport to acquire the third parcel.”
Landowners were first notified of the overlays in October 2020. One landowners’ submission made to council asked for more information, but the submission has since been resolved.
Given the critical nature of the land acquisition in order to deliver the upgraded intersections, it was recommended that council commence the process to acquire the land as a matter of priority. The motion was passed unanimously.
Subject to the adoption of the amendment, the next steps are for council to lodge the adopted amendment with the Minister for
Planning with a request to approve the amendment; to notify the submitter of council’s decision; and upon approval of the amendment and application of the public acquisition overlay on the land, council can commence the process of acquiring the land.