THE overturning of a permit refusal for a large, illuminated sign at the gateway to Mornington has angered residents and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.
VicRoads gave the go ahead to a planning permit for the double-sided billboard, it was opposed by council but approved by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in 2020.
Before the appeal hearing VCAT members visited the site and the applicant Drive By Developments agreed to reduce the height of the 18.5 metre sign by five metres and the display area of 15 metres to 12 metres.
VCAT member Michael Deidun found the commercial site was appropriate for the sign and met guidelines of the peninsula’s planning scheme.
However, that permit lapsed, prompting another permit application to be recently submitted to council which was left little choice but to advertise the application and approve it in line with the VCAT decision.
No objections were received.
Former council candidate Louise Page, of Tyabb, described the sign as “Vegas coming to Mornington” and said it was “tacky” and had attracted many negative comments on social media.
“How on earth is this appropriate signage for Mornington?” she said.
The mayor Cr Steve Holland described the granting of the permit as “yet another example of the wishes of council and the community being ignored by VCAT”.
“Local planning issues are best decided by locals and their elected representatives, but increasingly the state government is overriding local communities,” he said.