The proposed development at 21-27 George Street that was knocked back by Mitchell Shire Council.

By Colin MacGillivray

A DEVELOPER will challenge Mitchell Shire Council in the Supreme Court over its decision to knock back a proposed 14-dwelling development in George Street, Kilmore.

The proposal, which would involve retaining two existing buildings at 21-27 George Street and constructing 12 additional dwellings, came before council in September last year, with councillors voting unanimously to refuse it on the grounds that it was an overdevelopment of the site and not in keeping with the aims of Kilmore Structure Plan.

The development was opposed by Kilmore and District Residents and Ratepayers Association, KADRRA, which viewed it as incompatible with the equine activities of George Street and the nearby Kilmore Racecourse.

The developer challenged council’s decision at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, VCAT, in March, with VCAT member Christopher Harty upholding the decision in his final report last month.

Mr Harty noted that while the land was zoned for residential purposes, it fell within an equine precinct defined on a map in the Kilmore Structure Plan.

He said 14 dwellings at the site represented ‘an intense form of residential development that will be sandwiched between existing equine activity’.

Representatives for the developer did not respond to the Review’s request for comment before yesterday’s deadline.

KADRRA members confirmed the group, as an objector to the development, was subpoenaed to appear at a Supreme Court appeal of the VCAT decision.

Council chief executive Brett Luxford said council opposed the development on several fronts.

“The site is located and identified as within the open space and equine precinct in the [Kilmore] Structure Plan to maintain and strengthen Kilmore’s rich equine heritage and industry,” he said.

“Through the assessment of the 21 George Street application, council identified the proposal failed to provide an appropriate response to neighbourhood character, and the objectives and strategies that apply to the site as part of the Kilmore Structure Plan.”

Mr Luxford said other considerations such as the noise and smell created by equine activities in the area made it unsuitable for high-density development.

“Victorian planning policy also directs for decision-makers to consider amenity problems caused by incompatible land uses, and that planning should prevent risk of harm through land use conflicts,” he said.

“If an application of this nature was to be approved, future residents may be burdened by noise, odour and visual amenity impacts.

“Further, the existing equine uses would be compromised to function safely and effectively due to additional traffic, noise and visual impacts. The degree of conflict is inappropriate and cannot be supported.”

Mr Luxford said other areas of Kilmore were able to accommodate low, medium or high-density development within the strictures of the Mitchell Planning Scheme and Kilmore Structure Plan.

People can view Mr Harty’s VCAT decision by visiting www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VCAT/2022/611.html.

MORE: Race club’s rezoning bid ‘on hold’.

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