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Mitchell Shire Council ponder controversial Broadford car yard

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Grace Frost
Grace Frost
Hi, I'm Grace Frost. I was honoured to report for the Review as their Digital Journalist from mid-2022 to the beginning of 2024. Ive since made a move to the Herald Sun.

Mitchell Shire Council will soon decide if a Broadford landowner can operate a car-wrecking yard on Last Street after discovering illegal operations at the site last year.

A planning permit application was lodged with council in October to change the use of 1 Last Street and 21 Last Street in Broadford, zoned Industrial 1, to a motor repair workshop.

It is understood that the operator was repairing, dismantling and storing vehicles before making the application, advertising the auto parts store as ‘For toyo spares n repair’ on Google.

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Mitchell Shire Council chief executive Brett Luxford confirmed the landowner was warned that the sites should not be used for such purposes without approval.

“The applicant and the landowner have been advised that unless they have approval from council, the land at 1 Last Street cannot be used as a motor repair workshop. While the land can be used to store vehicles, there must not be any dismantling or repair of vehicles on this site,” he said.

“The applicant and landowner were also advised that the land at 21 Last Street should not be used for either a vehicle store, dismantling or repair of vehicles.”

Despite the warnings, council had to take ‘appropriate enforcement action’ when vehicles were still being stored at 21 Last Street on December 22.

“The landowner was also notified in writing to remove all vehicles from 21 Last Street and to cease using the land to store vehicles,” Mr Luxford said.

The Broadford car yard at 1 Last Street, Broadford, as of September last year. ​

Broadford residents took to handing out fliers to express their outrage at the ‘unregulated, unlicensed eye-sore’ and pressed for complaints to council.

The fliers distributed in late January alleged alarms and ‘noisy’ forklifts operated ‘at all hours’ at 1 Last Street despite the council’s warnings to the landowner.

“Why has our council allowed unregulated, unlicensed eye sore and potential environmental disaster to occur in spite of complaints from residents in the immediate vicinity?” the flier read.

Twenty-five vehicles were advertised as of Friday on Facebook marketplace by seller Abdul Rehman Warraich as available in Broadford. The seller also advertises parts at an auto store at 19 Leo Street Fawkner.

However, a staff member told a journalist undercover as a customer that parts were not currently available at Broadford, only in Fawkner as the Last Street site was not operational.

Council asked the applicant to provide ‘more detailed information’ to ‘clarify the intended uses for the land’ before a decision could be made on the application.

The applicant has until March 1 to provide the information, and until then, council will not review the proposal.

“No further consideration of the application has taken place, nor has council made any decisions about the proposal,” Mr Luxford said.

“Council will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that no activity is undertaken at the site in breach of council directives.”

Mr Luxford confirmed the Environment Protection Authority, EPA, had been notified of the activity.

“It has been confirmed that the landowner has registered the business with the EPA and permission has been approved for the activity subject to conditions controlling the discharge, emission or deposit of contaminants that may harm human health or the environment,” he said.

“It is important to note that irrespective of the EPA approval, planning approval remains pending and the activity of motor repairs and/or dismantling of vehicles is not permitted at the sites until a planning permit has been issued by council.”

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