By Terry Tovey - Warrandyte Community Association President
170-190, and 200 Watery Gully Rd Kangaroo Ground
Use and development of the land for a dwelling, driveway and re-subdivision of land.
Friends of Nillumbik Inc objects to this application.
The application is for land zoned RCZ3 in Nillumbik’s Green Wedge which has a P Scheme minimum subdivision size of 8 ha. Three adjoining properties are affected: No. 200, currently 8.32ha; No. 190 currently 0.29ha (undersized) and No. 170 currently 7.83ha (undersized). All properties are covered by the Bushfire Management Overlay; No. 170-190 is mostly covered by the Environmental Significance Overlay.
It’s proposed to absorb No. 190 into No. 200; No. 170 is split in two to create two new undersized lots: one of 4.09ha with a rural residential development (the new 190) and one of 3.74ha (the new 170) which has an existing dwelling.
Friends of Nillumbik Inc. works to protect Nillumbik’s Green Wedge in the public interest, recognising that this can only be achieved through the consistent application of, and support for, planning scheme controls.
Application 567/2018/14P challenges the Planning Scheme in several ways.
These properties have also been the subject of recent VCAT determinations:
Stickland Vs Nillumbik SC, March 2010, re-alignment of boundaries to create 2 lots of approx.. 4 ha each. Refused.
Stickland Vs Nillumbik SC, 6th July 2011, dwelling on a 0.3 ha (approx.) lot. Refused.
Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS)
The MSS points out that Nillumbik’s Green Wedge plays a pivotal role in protecting the region’s biodiversity including over 120 significant fauna and flora species, and valued remnant vegetation occurring on privately owned land. Appropriate planning controls are needed to protect biodiversity values. The minimum subdivision size of 8 ha was set in most of the rural areas to avoid compromising environmental and landscape values.
By discouraging additional residential development and subdivision in the rural areas, land fragmentation into unviable land parcels will be avoided, the integrity of the natural environment and landscape will be preserved, and habitat links maintained.
“Strongly discourage the realignment of boundaries of rural properties for the purpose of creating defacto residential lots. Generally, realignments are only supported for minor boundary adjustments which respond to topography or physical man-made features and do not provide for further development opportunities”.
“Consolidate residential uses and development in the urban areas, townships and designated low density residential areas in the Shire.”
“Limit the development of new dwellings and buildings on rural allotments below the minimum subdivision size, unless exceptional circumstances apply.”
“Restrict subdivision and the development of buildings on lots in rural areas to maintain landscape qualities.”
The MSS policy direction on subdivision and residential development in the Green Wedge is pretty clear.
The Planning Policy Framework is also clear about Green Wedge protection and residential development in rural areas:
Planning Policy Framework
Green wedges - Metropolitan Melbourne
“To protect the green wedges of Metropolitan Melbourne from inappropriate development”.
“Consolidate new residential development in existing settlements and in locations where planned services are available and green wedge values are protected.”
“Protect areas of environmental, landscape and scenic value such as biodiversity assets, national and state parks, Ramsar wetlands and coastal areas.”
Rural residential development
“Discourage development of small lots in rural zones for residential use or other incompatible uses.”
SCHEDULE 3 TO THE RURAL CONSERVATION ZONE
Shown on the planning scheme map as RCZ3.
“To ensure land use changes do not have an adverse impact on the landscape or strategic
environmental values of the land.” Minimum subdivision size: 8 hectares.
51.02 METROPOLITAN GREEN WEDGE LAND: CORE PLANNING PROVISIONS
To protect metropolitan green wedge land from uses and development that would diminish its
agricultural, environmental, cultural heritage, conservation, landscape natural resource or recreation
To encourage the location of urban activities in urban areas.
The subdivision of land to create a lot that is smaller in area than the minimum area specified for the land in the zone is prohibited unless:
The subdivision is the re-subdivision of existing lots, the number of lots is not increased, and the number of dwellings that the land could be used for does not increase.
The subdivision is by a public authority or utility service provider to create a lot for a utility installation.
While the number of lots does not increase, the number of dwellings does increase: The existing 3 lots can only be used for two dwellings because No. 170 was refused a dwelling by VCAT, July 2011. There already exists two dwellings (No. 200 and No. 190) Under the application there would be a third dwelling added, on proposed lot No. 190 (4.09 ha), so the application is in conflict with 51.02-3.
Friends of Nillumbik Inc believes Application 567/2018/14P will not produce an acceptable outcome in terms of the Municipal Strategic Statement, the Planning Policy Statement, the purpose of the Rural Conservation Zone Schedule 3, or the purpose of the overlay ESO1.