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Friday, January 30, 2015

A service station at Jetty Road roundabout: the case against

Next week, the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association (DCSCA) will ask VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal) to overturn the City of Greater Geelong's decision to approve a service station at the junction of Jetty Road and High Street, Drysdale.

What follows is DCSCA's formal 'Statement of Grounds Summary' to VCAT.

On behalf of the members of the Drysdale Clifton Springs Community Association (DCSCA) and residents of Drysdale Clifton Springs, DCSCA has compiled the following Statement of Grounds Summary:

1. Notification Process
DCSCA believes that residents along the nearby designated watercourse (Scarborough Creek), and most of the population of the Bellarine, would consider that they would be materially affected by this development.  The City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) did not take “reasonable measures” to comply with Section 52, thus denying these residents the opportunity to comment.

2. Hearing Panel Process
This did not address the concerns raised by the community.

3. The officer’s report (on which the approval of the application was granted)
This contained errors, omissions, outdated, conflicting and misleading information, unsubstantiated opinion and failed to direct the hearing panel to the correct Decision Guidelines as required by State Planning Policy Framework. A crucial summary item presented to the Hearing Panel was inconsistent with statements under Assessment Local Policy Framework within the report.

4. The assessment process
This was flawed – priority was not given to the criteria specified under Clause 65 (Decision Guidelines): -
  • The application fails to respond to Clause 11.05-3 (Rural Productivity), Clause 21.07-5 (Rural Areas) Clause 21.14 (The Bellarine Peninsula), Clause 22.04 (Discretionary uses in Rural Living and Low Density Residential Areas) and Clause 35.03 (Rural Living Zone).
  • The proposal is not consistent with the Drysdale Clifton Springs Structure Plan 2010, which identifies the site and surrounds should be maintained as a rural residential character.
  • The proposal fails to meet the criteria Clause 17.01.1 (Economic Development – Business) in that it presents no evidence that it needs to be at this location and not at another location on the highway that is consistent with the DCS Structure Plan.
  • The proposal is not consistent with Clause 18.01 (Transport System) in that it does not provide an amenity that is lacking on the transport route and will increase traffic congestion and will significantly compromise the safety of cyclists.
  • The proposal is not consistent with the purpose of Clause 35.03 (Rural Living Zone) or its decision guidelines. The proposal seeks to introduce a commercial development, which is at odds with the rural residential character of the area. Furthermore, the proposed use is not associated with a residential or agricultural use.
  • The application does not satisfactorily respond to Clause 65 (Decision Guidelines). An assessment against the required relevant decision guidelines would not support the application.

5. Traffic issues 
Serious safety concerns, congestion, danger to cyclists using the Principal Bicycle Network (PBN).

6. Environmental Issues – degradation to area, pollution, litter

  • The application will have a negative impact on the nearby dam and associated watercourse contravening the State Environment Protection Policy (Groundwaters of Victoria).
  • The application requires the installation of underground petroleum systems in an identified “sensitive site”.
  • There is a long-term risk of a toxic site in a sensitive location close to a designated watercourse.

7. Reduced ambience and amenity

8. The City of Greater Geelong did not consider community opinion.