Residential development in Nar Nar Goon rejected

The rejected proposal on Daly Road. Picture: VCAT

By Corey Everitt

A residential development in Nar Nar Goon has been rejected by VCAT declaring that the site is not appropriate in an agricultural area.

The proposal sought to build a single-storey, three bedroom dwelling on the Daly Road property on the small 2 ha site.

Cardinia Shire Council failed to make a decision on the application, but declared their intention to refuse a permit once the applicant took the matter before the tribunal.

The applicant sought to approve a permit from VCAT and have the council compelled to cover their legal fees.

The council opposed it on the grounds of protecting green wedge land, with the proposal described as ‘inappropriate’ as a residential dwelling.

VCAT member Christopher Harty supported the council’s opposition, saying it was ‘fundamentally’ a residential dwelling on rural land.

“Its main failing is the absence of any form of established agricultural production on the site,” Harty said.

“The proposal for a dwelling fails to provide support for achieving the purposes of the Green Wedge Zone which is protection of environmental, landscape and agricultural values.”

The applicant told the tribunal their family farmed the surrounding land for approximately a century and this lot is part of a series of subdivisions of the original 40 ha property proposed to allow members of the family to still reside in the area.

The lot was originally 1 ha subdivided in 1999, the latest re-subdivision was in 2018 approved by the council that segmented the current 2 ha site in question.

The applicant argued it was ‘naive’ of the council to have approved the subdivision while ‘knowing the likely intention’.

The site is currently occupied by a 700 sqm shed that the applicant argued assists the ongoing farming activities of the neighbouring land and would render the development not detrimental to the surrounding agriculture.

Harty could not accept this as it “represents a permanent change in land use.”

“It risks not only changing the ability of the site to be used for agricultural production, but also, risks conflict with, or reduction of, the capacity for future agricultural activity on adjoining or nearby land.”

Harty said though the original subdivision was then probably considered an ‘acceptable outcome’, the planning scheme has changed as well as its ‘aspirations’ for green wedge so that the proposal was now considered to ‘undermine and erode’ the priorities for the overall use of the land and those surrounding it.

On the matter of reimbursing the applicants legal fees, Harty ruled against. Finding that although the council failed to decide on the application, ‘did not set out to do so willingly’ as they engaged in an extensive consultation process.