Flinders and the Peninsula Under Threat?
The FCA committee recently got together for a strategic review on future strategies for Flinders, our way ahead and how we see Flinders in the future. A wide ranging discussion took place generating ideas both real and alarming as we saw the future changes from each perspective. The speed of change means that everyone needs to be aware of what seem even small changes as new planning rules are applied.
Neville Wale and I also attended a Red Hill Ward Consultative Group meeting with Councillor David Gill and representatives of the Westernport villages to discuss the new so called “VicSmart” initiatives generated by State Parliament. These planning initiatives allow planning permission to be granted often at Shire officer level, with no provision for objection via VCAT or any other body of review. The stated purpose is to streamline the planning processes at Council level.
This has implications for the interpretation of what can and cannot be done in terms of building, vegetation and erosion protection in the Green Wedge, as well as developments such as fencing and building heights and setbacks in the coastal villages. For instance, a revision of height limits for buildings in General Residential Zones from 8 to 11 meters and from 2 to 3 stories has obvious implications for village character. Fortunately the Flinders Design and Development Overlays 2 and 3 provide some interim protection, but these have yet to be tested in VCAT. All of this has very serious implications for us all and the FCA committee will be calling a full public meeting towards the end of June so that everyone can contribute to the discussion and whatever action is decided upon.