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Fight to stop Nagambie riverside rezoning

Opposition has emerged to a proposed rezoning of farm land to residential at a property near Nagambie.

JENNA BISHOP July 16, 2014 3:34am

Opposition to an application to rezone a farm property near Nagambie has been aired at an independent planning tribunal this week.

Property owner Box Grove Pastoral has applied to Strathbogie Shire Council for permission to rezone the property to become a low-density residential zone, paving the way for housing development.

The property backs on to the Goulburn River and Lobbs Lane, which connects Nagambie with Kirwans Bridge.

The plan has residents concerned because the proposal could allow housing to leapfrog over an existing farming property and is not right next to housing at the northern edge of town.

The matter was referred to Planning Panels Victoria, which had a hearing at Nagambie on Monday about the issue.

The council sustainable development manager Emma Kubeil said submissions were heard from the council, Box Grove Pastoral and affiliates and two submitters.

‘‘It is proposed to rezone land from the farming zone to the low-density residential zone. It is proposed that this site would have the capacity of no more than 200 dwellings,’’ Ms Kubeil said.

Objector Alan McLean questioned whether the area needed more housing developments.

‘‘I am not opposed to development per se, but my concern relates to the lack of demonstrated need for more small houseblocks near a town which already has significant housing subdivisions being taken up only slowly,’’ he said.

‘‘I am also concerned to see plans which would limit public access along the waterways and which could compromise the native trees on Box Grove.’’

Lobbs Lane resident Martin Hartnett said the proposed development would mean a loss of the area’s picturesque status and possible damage to the river precinct and river itself.

‘‘The traffic could go from 150 cars a day to 1500 a day if it goes ahead,’’ he said.

‘‘It will destroy Nagambie’s beauty, if they turn it into a residential zone it will be very upsetting.’’

Mr Hartnett said the potential development could also have an adverse effect on the region’s brolga population, a threatened bird species.

‘‘The brolgas have been here for 20 years and they stay in their zone for life,’’ he said.

‘‘It would destroy their habitat and shouldn’t we be protecting them?’’

Ms Kubeil said planning panels member Michael Kirsh would prepare a report for the council, which was likely to be received within four weeks.

The council then has eight weeks to consider his report.

If it decides to rezone the land, the council will then take the matter to Victorian Planning Minister Michael Guy, who has the final decision.

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