Time out for planning change


A BID to waive the need for planning permits in certain circumstances at properties on the “inland” side of Point Nepean Rd from Mt Eliza to Portsea has been temporarily waved down by concerned councillors.

A report to last week’s public council meeting by Mornington Peninsula Shire senior planner Oscar Orellana proposed changes to the Environmental Significance Overlay of the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme.

The proposal was aimed at “streamlining planning processes” for properties that do “not directly join the Port Phillip foreshore and coastal area”.

“Minor forms of development” such as the erection of a fence, outbuildings or “a single dwelling in non-sensitive areas” would no longer require a council planning permit if the amendment to the planning scheme is approved by councillors.

Several residents asked questions about the proposed planning scheme change in the public question time part of the meeting.

Shire planning executive manager David Bergin gave assurances that any change would not affect any private properties from Mornington to Mt Eliza or Sorrento to Portsea on the inland side.

Cr David Gill gained unanimous support from councillors to defer consideration of the planning changes until after a planning workshop and additional council briefing for councillors.

It emerged during the debate at last week’s meeting that council officers recommended the planning scheme amendment be deferred but Cr Gill noted the deferment recommendation was not listed on the agenda distributed to councillors at the meeting.

Before last Monday’s meeting, the Mornington Peninsula Ratepayers and Residents Association was alarmed that the planning scheme amendment could be rushed through without community consultation but welcomed the deferment to consider the planning changes and easing of permit requirements.

“We’re happy council officers decided councillors needed more time to consider the changes,” association secretary Doris Campbell said.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 7 February 2017


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