Mayor thanks Wynne for Kaufland veto decision

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MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council has written to planning minister Richard Wynne to personally thank him for “rejecting plans for an inappropriately-sited Kaufland supermarket proposal” at the gateway to Mornington.

This follows Mr Wynne’s rejection of the company’s bid for a 4000 square metre retail mega-hub at the corner of Oakbank Road and Nepean Highway, Mornington – the Bata Shoes site.

The minister had said he made the decision after “community consultation raised concerns about the nature of the development and the site’s proximity to the green wedge”.

“We’ve listened to the community and ensured the gateway to Mornington is properly planned. We’re taking action to ensure Victoria remains a great place to live, work and do business,” he said.

In the letter the mayor Cr David Gill said the knockback had “protected the viability of the Mornington Village – one of the few successful shopping strips in the state – and safeguarded the green approach to one of Victoria’s most popular regional towns”.

He told Mr Wynne: “The news was warmly received by the Mornington Peninsula community.

“The council worked closely with the community on this issue to ensure the voices of local residents were heard. The … community is passionate about protecting the unique qualities of this special region, as recognised in the state’s Localised Planning Statement.

“The community is keen to express its gratitude and I would like to extend a warm invitation to [you to] visit Mornington so that residents can thank you in person. I would be happy to host and facilitate such a visit.

“Once again, I thank you for your willingness to listen to the community on this important issue.”

A Kaufland spokesperson said the company was “disappointed with the outcome of Mornington”.

“We still believe in the merit of our application [but] we respect the advisory committee’s decision. It’s the beauty of an independent process.”

The German giant is going ahead with stores at Coolaroo and Oakleigh South, and has announced plans for at least nine other stores – at Braybrook, Lyndhurst, Geelong, South Morang, Bendigo, Narre Warren, Warrnambool, Coburg and Pakenham.

First published in the Mornington News – 10 September 2019

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