MITCHELL Shire councillors have rejected a proposed multi-lot subdivision at 540 Davidson Street, Broadford, dismissing it as ‘not good planning’.
The proposal involved the creation of five lots of between 591 and 682 square metres, with a common property access lane running parallel to Davidson Street.
The plan would also have entailed the removal of three native trees within the Davidson Street road reserve.
Although council officers deemed the permit application to be compliant with the Mitchell Planning Scheme and recommended it be granted subject to conditions, several councillors spoke against it.
Cr Fiona Stevens proposed an alternate motion to reject the permit outright, which was carried unanimously.
Cr Stevens said the permit application did not adequately factor in the long-term growth of Broadford, including the fact that Davidson Street was earmarked for a future connection with Rupert Street, linking the east and west parts of Broadford south of the train line.
“The [draft] Broadford Structure Plan is speaking to the future of this road being a connection across Sunday Creek to Rupert Street,” she said.
“The significance of this is high, in that that road is an alternate route. If the Hamilton Street bridge goes down, currently people would have to travel 12 kilometres [around to get into town].
“The report says the road won’t go through for 20 years, but I think the people of Broadford might have something to say about that. It’s quite a significant alternate connection … that currently is non-existent.”
Cr Stevens said she had other issues with the proposal.
“It’s got this internal road along the front of it, and yet it faces onto a road. It provides poor integration to the streetscape, as the internal road runs parallel to the existing road reserve – that’s just dumb planning,” she said.
“The internal road does not provide for the safe and efficient collection of waste and recycling. There’s talk in the report about the developer providing private waste collection – it’s not necessary.
“The small lot size does not respond to the existing subdivision pattern and character of the area. The blocks for the proposed subdivision are 591 to 682 square metres, yet the surrounding blocks are 1500 to 4200 square metres. How can we say this is compatible with the surrounding area? It’s not.”
Councillors agreed a link between Davidson Street and Rupert Street was vital for long-term future of Broadford and the planning application needed to factor it in.
“The most blindingly obvious problem associated [with the application] was that Davidson Street has been identified in the [draft] Broadford Structure Plan as going to be a connector road, and yet that point doesn’t seem to have been taken into account,” Cr Annie Goble said.
“There’s an access lane on the developer’s land that reduced the size of the blocks and then disallowed garbage collection.
“When Davidson Street is formalised and taken through … you would have a road running parallel to a service road within the boundary of a property. It seems to me very unusual planning.
“It makes far more sense to have these individual blocks fronting Davidson Street, rather than a service lane that disallows garbage collection.”
Cr Bill Chisholm said getting road connections right was ‘all-important’ for the future of the shire’s towns.
“Council cannot afford to do a lot of this roadwork themselves, so any time we can use a developer to fund some of this infrastructure, whether it’s drainage or streets, we’ve got to take advantage of that,” he said.
Cr Rob Eldridge was concerned the removal of the internal road would mean more native vegetation was lost but said the logistical benefits of the planned link between Davidson Street and Rupert Street were too great to compromise.
“I suspect we’re going to lose quite a few trees with this, however from a strategic point of view the link through to the other side of the creek really does outweigh it,” he said.