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Car yard chaos in Broadford as Mitchell Shire waits on a decision

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

It’s a waiting game that has gone on too long for residents around Broadford’s Last Street, as the fate of an alleged car-wrecking yard is still yet to be determined by Mitchell Shire Council.

A planning permit application was lodged with council to change the use of the properties at 1 and 21 Last Street, zoned Industrial 1, to a motor repair workshop in October last year, however it is understood the operator was repairing, dismantling, and storing vehicles for some time before making the application.

The Review reported in February that council had given the applicant until March 1 to provide ‘more detailed information’ to ‘clarify the intended uses for the land’ before a decision could be made on the application.

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As of April 12, council has not yet made any decision on the proposal for a motor repair workshop at the two properties due to ‘outstanding information still pending receipt from the permit applicant’.

The prolonged decision comes after multiple warnings to the landowner and ‘appropriate enforcement action’ that was taken on December 22 to ensure vehicles were not stored at 21 Last Street.

While vehicles can still be stored at 1 Last Street, a nearby resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had seen increased activity at the site in recent months.

“The number of cars has increased despite being told by council that they couldn’t operate until they have a permit, so they seem to be doing something over there,” he said.

“We certainly hear and see the forklift moving around a few times a week, and it doesn’t really make sense to me why you would have well in excess of 60 cars over there just for the fun of it.

“They’ve got to be doing something with them. No reasonable person would buy that they aren’t running a business out of there.”

Mitchell Shire chief executive Brett Luxford said the applicant had requested further time to provide outstanding information, which council was currently considering.

“Failure to respond within the prescribed time means the application may lapse and there will be no change to the current allowed land use,” he said.

“The applicant may then need to make a new planning permit application if they want to amend the current allowed land use.”

Council has outlined that the property at 1 Last Street must not be used as a motor repair workshop or for dismantling or repairing vehicles, however the land can be used to store vehicles.

Meanwhile, the land at 21 Last Street must not be used for any of the three purposes – the variation in allowed uses a product of the properties’ differing proximity to residential properties.

Despite the installation of screening that obscures vision into 1 Last Street, the resident said he could still hear and see general activity on the property, with a pile of car doors visible along the fence.

He also raised concerns about crime in the area as he said the property had suffered multiple break-ins, while environmental issues spurred calls to have the business shut down.

“I want to see the cars removed. It’s not an appropriate business for the area,” the resident said.

“There’s an industrial estate in Broadford that already has that sort of operation, there’s areas designated and zoned for the sort of work they’re doing. I just don’t see how that’s an appropriate use of that land.”

Mr Luxford said council would continue to monitor the sites to ensure that no activity is undertaken in breach of its directives.

Anyone with concerns about excessive noise levels or activity is encouraged to contact council’s Local Laws team on 5734 6200.

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