First step in Edgecombe Road plan approved

A 42-lot subdivision for Edgecombe Road has become the first part of a major three-stage development proposed for Kyneton to gain approval.
Macedon Ranges Council last week voted 6-3 in favour of the permit, which subdivides four lots of land long marked for commercial development and rural living.
The subdivision is the beginning of a larger proposed development that will include a major hardware retailer and fuel station with fast-food restaurant.
The application has attracted significant community interest for its promise of economic growth but some claimed the developer’s plan lacked detail to ensure its proper fit for the town.
Ten formal objections raised the impact on native flora and fauna, increased traffic, road and pedestrian safety, character, noise and light emission.
Councillor Mark Ridgeway suggested to councillors at Wednesday’s meeting they risked losing the chance to reflect the community’s desires in the plan if not for extensive planning conditions.
“If it had to go to the umpire, I think the umpire would be pretty straight about calling it,” he said.
“Here’s an opportunity for us to be part of that conversation or on the other hand we can choose not to be part of that conversation and let it be decided out of our hands.”
Cr Ridgeway’s successful motion added several further conditions to the plans, including wildlife-friendly fencing, sustainable and environmentally sensitive building designs and use of materials, landscaping plans for rural living development and traffic management plans.
“This ensures good traffic management particularly with key intersections is integral to the design and development of the proposal and we’ve seen what happens, in Woodend (at Coles) recently, when perhaps that doesn’t occur from the start of the process,” he said.
Another key inclusion was public open space with improvements to biodiversity along Post Office Creek and car parking from Pipers Creek Road. The move recognises and preserves the cultural heritage of the area where several Indigenous artifacts have been found. The permit included more than 60 detailed conditions recommended by council officers.
Cr Ridgeway also called for councillors to be notified of any future residential and commercial planning applications relating to the development.
While the motion gained majority support, not all were convinced approval of the subdivision alone was the best outcome for the site.
Councillors Anne Moore and Jennifer Anderson wanted greater certainty on the site’s end built-form.
“We are setting the ground rules for where this built-form will occur and so, for me, the two (applications) together makes more sense,” Cr Anderson said.
“I just don’t feel that I have enough information there for me to feel comfortable with this permit.”
Councillors voted in favour of the application with added conditions. A division recorded those in favour were Crs Ridgeway, West, Pearce, Death, Neil and Bonanno. Those against were Crs Anderson, Moore and Guthrie.
Councillors are expected to vote on the remaining two applications for the Edgecombe Road development in the first half of 2021.

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