Business park controversy

Controversy now surrounds a plan to expand New Gisborne’s business park.
New Gisborne residents are petitioning Macedon Ranges Shire Council to re-think the proposal that will see about 29 hectares of Rural Living land rezoned for industrial and commercial development.
Resident Linda Amarant said the plans were “soul destroying” and encouraged people to voice their opinions before it was too late.
“This new proposal is going to completely change the outlook of Gisborne,” she said.
“Council has proposed to heavily commercialise the east entrance into Gisborne – do we want a visual landscape with imposing big-business retailers lining the road?”
The proposal would rezone land to create Commercial 2 Zone along the Saunders Road frontage allowing for retail, warehouse and bulky goods retailing. The remaining area would rezoned Industrial 3 Zone.
Investigation into the expansion was suggested in the 2009 Gisborne Outline Development Plan, which many believe is now outdated.
“Things have changed since 10 years ago,” said New Gisborne resident Alex Sargeant-Pearson.
“We need to have open land for our wildlife. We need to create wildlife corridors. We don’t want to change the feel of our town here. Once we build on this land it’s gone – we won’t ever get it back.”
Other residents highlighted heavy traffic issues and existing empty commercial buildings, however, some welcomed the move with the ODP indicating a need for additional commercial land from 2021.
New Gisborne resident of 14 years, Russell Mowatt said the business park would create future opportunities for employment and new businesses in New Gisborne.
“I’m buoyed at the potential future prosperity this will bring to the Gisborne district,” he said.
“As a community we must always be planning for growth and keeping an ‘eye on the future’. How long do you keep consulting the community when the work has already been done!”
Feedback to the proposal must be received by the end of February.
A petition against expansion of the proposed Gisborne Business Park is now circulating. Paper copies are located at several stores and an online version is available at www.gopetition.com/petitions/gisborne-business-park-development-plan
To make a submission email strategicplanning@mrsc.vic.gov.au

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