More land earmarked

MORE than 2200 residential lots could be created in Sale following the adoption of a development plan for the city’s northern outskirts.

The North Sale Development Plan was adopted by Wellington Shire Council during its meeting last Tuesday, following two years of consultation with the community and statutory bodies.

The north Sale growth area, covering 294 hectares from the north of Sale-Maffra Rd to Gibsons Rd, was identified in council’s Sale, Wurruk and Longford Structure Plan to provide for the logical expansion of Sale.

The expansion of RAAF Base, East Sale, will increase the area’s population.

About 750 people are currently employed on the base, with the relocation of Basic Flying Training School adding 105 students living on base and about 35 families.

There will also be a small additional increase of about 20 personnel at 32 Squadron because of the expansion of its role and increase in number of aircraft.

While most of the additional personnel will be living on base, the growth in services required will produce job growth in Sale.

The development plan could open up about 2200 standard residential lots and about 15 low density lots.

The plan places possible “local convenience centres” on Sale-Maffra Rd to the west of the future Sale Greyhounds Club complex, and on Cobains Rd near the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex to serve surrounding neighbourhoods.

The plan mentions these centres having 500 square metres of retail floor space, cafés and “private community uses”.

Roundabouts have been proposed on the Sale-Maffra Rd intersections with Back Maffra Rd and Woondella Boulevard, and on Cobains Rd near GRSC, and traffic lights at the intersection of the Princes Highway and Cantwell Drive.

The east side of the Princes Highway from Cobains Rd to the main Sale irrigation channel has been identified for commercial use. Also in the plan is the creation of “gateway experiences” at the Princes Highway and Sale-Maffra Rd entrances to Sale, with open space, landscape embellishment and “key gateway development sites”.

During the public exhibition period, council received 13 submissions from residents and 10 from statutory authorities.

Key issues raised included drainage, traffic, density of development, road layout, neighbourhood character, and a proposed railway crossing.

Councillor Gayle Maher said the plan was a “landmark piece of work”, which would provide a clear direction on the future of the area.

“Development plans are a really important tool for land owners, developers, council and the community,” she said.

Russell Napper, who owns a property in the north Sale area, commended council on the plan.

“The plan pretty much gives us all the information we need to move forward and eventually developing our property for residential purposes, and the information we don’t have, the plan quite clearly states it will be forthcoming,” he said.

With the plan adopted, work will begin on arrangements to fund infrastructure in the area, particularly drainage.

Proposals are still subject to planning and other regulatory approvals.

Meanwhile, state Planning Minister Richard Wynne has approved a planning scheme amendment to rezone land at Wurruk, potentially creating up to 800 residential lots.

Council adopted the amendment, a private rezoning request for land to the south of the Princes Highway between the Sovereign and Park Ridge estates to Kilmany Park, in October.