Planning change to ease airfield woes

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MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire councillors were last night (Monday) considering asking planning minister Richard Wynne to amend the planning scheme covering Tyabb Airfield.

If given the go ahead, changes could then be made to the special use zone that covers development at the airfield and other properties identified in a proposed design and development overlay.

Current approvals only allow Peninsula Aero Club to use the site as an authorised landing ground, not as an airport, airfield, flying school, transport terminal (or heliport) or place of assembly/major sports and recreational facility. There is no existing approval for the east-west landing strip.

Strategic projects manager Allan Cowley, in a report to Monday night’s planning services committee meeting, said the proposed amendment could be seen as an “important step in establishing a fair and reasonable framework for the use and development of the Tyabb Airfield into the future”.

“Council’s most recent actions have also sought to resolve some of the long-standing uncertainties regarding the range of use conducted at the airfield and the interpretation of the conditions contained in previous planning permits,” he said.

Mr Cowley said discussions were being held to allow the club to apply for currently unauthorised uses and clarifying and modernising the conditions under which the airfield operates.

“It is also proposed to implement a number of recommendations from the adopted Tyabb Airfield Precinct Plan, which are to provide greater protection for the airfield and ensure a balanced long term planning approach is put in place for both the airfield and the community.”

Mr Cowley said “anomalies in the zone’s provisions [could] prevent the consideration of applications to consolidate and improve the existing permits for the site”.

Existing planning provisions did not address the need for development controls on land near the airfield, including noise, buildings that may create obstacles, and minimising risks of accidents during take-off and landing.

The aim of the precinct plan was to achieve “sustainable co-existence” between the airfield and the Tyabb township and residential areas.

First published in the Western Port Times – 19 February 2020

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