Council delays decision on Stevens St

UPDATED

MORE than 100 submissions have been made against a proposed residential development in Sale.

Wellington Shire Council was due to determine the next step in applications to allow for development along the southern side of Stevens St.

However, because of the absence of councillors Darren McCubbin and Scott Rossetti, a decision has been delayed until February 17.

The councillors have been recommended they request the state Planning Minister appoint a panel of independent planning experts to consider all submissions for the applications. The community would be given another chance to speak on the submissions.

The proposals seek to rezone and subdivide land for residential use, creating 11 lots on two separate sites.

The vacant land has been identified in the Wellington Planning Scheme for urban expansion in the medium term.

The applications were exhibited for public comment from July 31 to September 8, with 136 submissions received, including a petition with 802 signatures against the proposals.

Twenty-seven submissions from the public indicated support for the developments, while 103 raised objections, including 75 which came in the form of a generic template letter.

Issues raised by objectors included the loss of views of nearby wetlands, impact on the wetlands in relation to drainage and flora and fauna, flooding levels, the potential increase in traffic, and there being no need for housing in this area.

Among preliminary responses to the objections, council officers said while the development would have some impact on the overall character of the street and views of the wetlands, the Sale Common wetlands are accessible to the public and extensive views can be enjoyed from other locations in the area. Meanwhile, the land is also above the predicted flood line.

Another submission raised the issue of land stability. In response, the proponents prepared a geotechnical report, which found the land was capable of being developed as proposed and there would be no impact on existing properties on the northern side of the street.

Supporters of the applications pointed to the need for such developments in this part of Sale.

No major objections were raised in five other submissions from statutory bodies, although the Department of Defence suggested making future owners of the lots aware of the close proximity to RAAF Base East Sale.

The West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority recommended adding a planning permit condition in relation to rainwater tanks for storage.

Gippsland Water also raised concerns about the location of the pumping station, proposed to be beneath power lines. The proponents have since updated the subdivision plan.

Tonight’s council meeting will begin at 6pm in the Port of Sale Civic Centre. The meeting will also be streamed live on the council website.