After years of consultation and deliberation, Mount Alexander Shire Council has finally adopted its revised Diamond Gully Structure Plan.
The Planning Scheme Amendment C56 will help to guide the future development of 182 hectares of land at Diamond Gully near Castlemaine.
The area has the potential to meet the projected demand for new residential land at Castlemaine over the next 15 years.
The DGSP was first adopted by council in 2010. However, following the publication of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission reports into the Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009 further assessment of bushfire management requirements took place and a 2014 version of the DGSP was adopted by council.
Amendment C56 was exhibited in early 2015 and council received 12 submissions from developers impacted by the plan, local residents and landcare and environmental groups.
It resolved to request Planning Minister Richard Wynne to appoint a planning panel to consider the plan and all its submissions.
The two-member panel met in Castlemaine last September, touring the site and hearing submissions. At the time local environmental groups expressed concerns about the removal of native vegetation, grasses and soils and a lack of provision for public spaces. The panel report was presented to council in November.
Local developer Gary McClure, speaking on behalf of the McClure Family and Diamond Gully Estates Pty Ltd which owns a substantial 45Ha (111.2 acres) parcel of land at Diamond Gully, addressed councillors about the plan last Tuesday night.
He advised he had been involved with the process since 2002.
Mr McClure said he was very happy to see the Diamond Gully Structure Plan finalised and implementation commence.
However, he noted that some of the changes proposed by his family were not supported, which he said was disappointing. These included the identification of the western area of the McClure land as ‘Future Urban Investigation Area’.
Mr McClure said he would continue to advocate for these changes, as he said sufficient support and justification was provided in their submission.
Cr Sharon Telford moved that council consider the panel report, accept its recommendations, adopt the amendment and request for the Planning Minister to approve the amendment.
Cr Telford also moved several modifications to the plan, which she said would address two of Mr McClure’s concerns.
She said council should continue to work with developers to address infrastructure in the area.
She said the matter had been going on a very long time – three terms of council.
Cr Telford said council felt that adopting the amendment and plan with these alterations would go some way towards addressing the developers requirements but would ensure it would not sit on the minister’s desk the way the Tarran Valley has.
“Hopefully this will give council the best chance of winning the minister’s approval and it will be passed with some expediency and not be delayed.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.