Growth plan hopes

ROSEDALE’S entrance and parts of its town centre will be enhanced if the Planning Minster approves.

Wellington Shire Council will ask Planning Minister Matthew Guy to authorise the implementation of the Rosedale Structure Plan.

The plan will be included in the Wellington Planning Scheme as Amendment C86.

Council decided to ask the minister to authorise preparation of Amendment C86 at its July 15 meeting, but not before Rosedale resident Kerry Logan warned councillors they faced possible legal repercussions if any of the area approved for subdivision flooded.

She questioned the sense in adopting the plan before completion of the West Gippsland Catchment Authority’s Rosedale flood study.

“In my opinion, best practice has not been followed,” she warned.

“I would like to speak about the possible legal ramifications if flooding at some point in the future occurs over the residential one zoned land in Rosedale that was legitimised by the recently adopted Rosedale Structure Plan and is now going to be implemented by Wellington Shire council, even though there has not been a completed flood study for Blind Joe’s Creek,” she said.

“Immunity from prosecution is not automatically granted to statutory bodies if negligence is evident in the design.

“Could it be that the Wellington Shire’s strategic planning department) have an alternative agenda and want to implement the Rosedale Structure Plan before the completion of the flood study for Blind Joe’s Creek, that is not due to be completed for 12 to 18 months?”

She declared the plan ill-conceived and the parties involved in drawing up the plan as equally complicit in knowingly not exercising their duty of care regarding flooding.

Ms Logan predicted allowing residential one zoning to land subject to flooding may in future cause death to residents or damage to property.

Wellington Shire mayor Scott Rossetti drew Ms Logan’s address to council to a close after about 12 minutes, stating council was aware of the flooding issue.

He directed her attention to the agenda’s Item C3.3 Environmental Impact statement, which acknowledged the impact of flooding in clause 21.10 of the planning scheme and indicated new residential development would be strongly influenced by the Rosedale Flood Study.

“It would not see people being allowed to build without actually satisfying the requirements of that 21.10 and that is most likely to be influenced by the Rosedale Flood Study,” he said.

Council’s development manager John Websdale pointed out the proposal sought to implement some of the changes in the Rosedale Structure Plan, but not all of them.

He said the land being proposed for rezoning was not new parcels of residential land, but small parcels of land already within the town.

Announcing council’s adoption of the recommendation, Cr Rossetti said as one of Gippsland’s oldest towns, it was important Rosedale’s unique character was protected, while allowing for growth and development.

“The Rosedale Structure Plan, which was adopted by council in August 2012, is the guiding document that allows us to do this,” he said.

The structure plan’s key objectives are to:

Maintain Rosedale’s character as a small rural town;

Strengthen its identity as a highway town by celebrating Rosedale as the western gateway to the heart of Gippsland;

Improve housing choice and diversity;

Strengthen the local economy and create a vibrant town centre with a unique sense of place; and

Create a walkable community that connects with the heritage, culture and character of the area.

“If the Minister for Planning authorises Amendment C86, council will be able to exhibit the amendment documents which implement the recommendations of the Rosedale Structure Plan,” Cr Rossetti said.

“This is a really positive step for the town and will see Rosedale better defined with guidelines to enhance its existing character as a small rural town, with more economic opportunities created and the potential for rural residential growth.”

Residents will be able to provide feedback on the plan when it is publicly exhibited later this year.

Copies of the Rosedale Structure Plan are available on council’s website, www.wellington.vic.gov.au, or phone council’s strategic planning team on 1300 366 244.