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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Bureaucratic battles pay off

Some good news as authorities rule in Seymour and Tallarook couples' favour.

CHALPAT SONTI April 3, 2014 4:46am

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There has been good news recently for two couples whose battles against bureaucracy featured in the Telegraph last year.

Pam and Ron Howard had tried to get their Tristan St property off the Seymour heritage overlay last year, after pointing out some inconsistencies in the report which recommended it be included, and that the home had been extensively modified and was too unstable for any more work.

They were among those who took their case to the independent planning panel set up to consider the overlay and recently received some good news.

The panel ruled that their home should be removed from the High St heritage precinct because it was a ‘‘timber house with low integrity and lies on the boundary of the precinct’’. It also ruled the neighbouring property, others in President and Butler Sts and The Avenue, most of Kings Park and part of the Mob Siding precinct should also be excluded.

Mitchell Shire councillors last week agreed and the overlay — with a couple of extra amendments relating to Kilmore and Broadford — will go to the Planning Minister Matthew Guy for final approval.

Judy and Laurie Briggs had a different type of issue — their 24ha Tallarook property had been classed as a primary production unit despite the fact it has never been used for anything but a home.

The reclassification meant they had to pay more than triple the expected Fire Services Levy, and they made the point many other block holders would be in the same boat.

Mrs Briggs recently received a letter from the Victoria Valuer General which has confirmed the property should be classified as rural residential, thus reducing the levy back to about $100.

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