By Terry Tovey - Warrandyte Community Association President
Nightmare on Chapel Lane - farmland becomes landfill site
Neighbours in Chapel Lane, Doreen are shell-shocked.
Productive farmland in quiet, rural Lane in Nillumbik’s Green Wedge is disappearing under thousands of tons of trucked-in soil, with heavy machinery, dust and noise. With around 400 heavy vehicle movements each day, six days a week, roads are being wrecked and pedestrians and horse riders, endangered. This soil dumping has now extended over two adjacent properties. Residents received no warning, had no opportunity to object, and have even been verbally abused and threatened. No-one in authority is taking responsibility with buck-passing the order of the day. The Planning Minister says it’s up to the council, council says it’s the Minister’s responsibility. Earth Services Group, the company involved, told residents soil dumping will continue for 3 years!
We hear that the company told council the land would be used for agricultural purposes. The two rural land-use zones in Nillumbik have different rules about agricultural use. The Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ) requires a council permit, while the Green Wedge Zone (GWZ) does not. Chapel Lane is in the GWZ so for agriculture, no permit application needed and consequently, no objections possible. But what is happening at 265 Chapel Lane is certainly not agriculture. It’s an illegal landfill operating without a permit on farmland; an assault on green wedge values and an unthinkable precedent.
We will only retain our Green Wedge if council applies consistent planning scheme land-use regulations which cannot be side-stepped by profit-seeking commercial interests. Alarmingly Councillors Ranken, Clarke, Ashton and Egan, pushed by a rural minority supported by the Mayor, are on record as wanting to weaken these regulations, even calling for re-zonings! They only need to consider 265 Chapel Lane, Doreen to realise what a betrayal of our Green Wedge that would be.
The latest news: soil dumping at 265 Chapel Lane has been suspended for a fortnight.
What can you do? Inform the Planning Minister; local councillors and State MPs about your concern for our Green Wedge if this illegal use is not stopped. Soil dumping is a problem for other Melbourne green wedges too.
Planning Minister: Hon Richard Wynne – Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org
Nillumbik CEO Carl Cowie – Carl.Cowie@nillumbik.vic.gov.au (address to CEO and Councillors)
MP Danielle Green – Danielle.email@example.com
MP Jaclyn Symes – Jaclyn.firstname.lastname@example.org
MP Mark Gepp – email@example.com
MP Wendy Lovell – firstname.lastname@example.org
MP Tania Maxwell – email@example.com
MP Tim Quilty – firstname.lastname@example.org