Shire calls for help to protect green wedge


MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council wants residents to back its push to have Planning Minister Richard Wynne sign off on an amendment to the peninsula’s planning scheme.

The amendment seeks to shield land that sits outside the urban grown boundary (UGB) from “inappropriate development that could have a negative impact on the peninsula’s rural and coastal landscape”.

It would do this by rezoning several sites that are outside the UGB from special use to green wedge.

One of the sites proposed for rezoning is 60 Kunyung Road, Mount Eliza – the former Melbourne Business School site on which aged care provider Ryman plans an $80 million development consisting of six four-storey buildings, two four-storey wings attached to the existing mansion, three three-storey buildings, chapel and 362 car spaces.

The buildings would house 272 apartments, including 55 assisted living units and 217 independent living units, and 124 aged care beds. Up to 400 people would live there.

The shire’s principal planner Hugh Pierce said in his report to the planning services committee that the proposed development represented a “substantial change to the subject site” before it was knocked back by the council.

With 1068 objectors and 33 letters of support, Ryman has foreshadowed an appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

If the shire’s request for rezoning is approved by Mr Wynne, the council says “inappropriate uses such as a residential aged care facility and retirement village would become prohibited”.

The mayor Cr Sam Hearn said the council’s “unanimous rejection of this application reflects the significant community concern about the appropriateness of the development”.

“Ultimately … council’s aim is to protect the unique rural and green break between Mount Eliza and the township of Mornington.”

Cr Rosie Clark said the objections were the “highest number of community submissions the council has received for a planning application in recent years. We are committed to hearing our community’s voice and protecting our townships”.

Briars Ward Councillor Bev Colomb said the “overdevelopment” does “not reflect the character of this neighbourhood”.

“If it proceeds it [will] have negative impacts on the coastal landscape, the environment, and the historical value of the site. Council’s refusal was based on good planning for the future of this area.”

Those interested can email to object to the Ryman application and encourage the minister to authorise the planning scheme amendment C270morn.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 1 September 2020


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