Call to protect ‘green’ buffer


MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council is being urged to investigate the background and implications of permit applications affecting the green wedge buffer zone between Mount Eliza and Mornington.

In a notice of motion to last night’s planning services committee meeting (17 February) Cr David Gill moved that the council ask Planning Minister Richard Wynne to protect the “intrinsic value of this land from any insensitive development that urbanises this area, which has a long history as green wedge, [in] between what could otherwise be contiguous residential and related development”.

Cr Gill also called for a planning officer’s report be tabled at the March statutory planning committee meeting include an advocacy plan and “inform our community about the planning minister’s response and ask for public support in protecting this area from inappropriate development”.

He said all peninsula members of parliament should be “asked to assist in this advocacy and to make their position on this issue known to council”.

Four current planning applications affecting the green buffer include a Ryman retirement village at 60 Kunyung Road; additions to a building at Sunnyside beach, Mount Eliza; school buildings and vegetation removal at Padua College, 62 Oakbank Road, and a house at 90 Baldock Road, Mornington.

The sites, apart from 60 Kunyung Road, are zoned green wedge – schedule 3 (GWZ2) which recognises, protects and conserves green wedge land. The Kunyung Road site is zoned special use – schedule 2 (SUZ2) recognising strategic sites with recreational, religious, health or educational facilities that perform a significant community function.

Under SUZ2 certain uses not compatible with the rural and coastal landscape can be permitted, including a medical centre, office, aged care and retirement village. Permits are required for buildings, such as a hotel, rooming house, community care accommodation or motel.

Officers said several sites on the peninsula, including 60 Kunyung Road, were outside the urban growth boundary (UGB) and zoned SUZ2. This zone, designated before the introduction of the green wedge, is called “legacy” zoning.

This could result in use and development of such intensity and form that it amounts to de facto urbanisation of the rural and coastal landscape which would have never been considered years ago, officers said.

Officers recommend that the council seek Mr Wynne’s approval to rezone all special use – schedule 2 land outside the urban growth boundary – including 60 Kunyung Road – to green wedge.

This would better reflect their intended use and that they are outside the urban growth boundary and are metropolitan green wedge land, they said.

Officers would like the council to ask Mr Wynne to “expediently authorise council to undertake Amendment C270 as it will protect the intrinsic value of this land from any inappropriate development that urbanises the green wedge”.

First published in the Mornington News – 18 February 2020


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