160 community & environment groups across Melbourne have formed a coalition to protect Melbourne's green wedges. We regard maintaining the green wedges for future generations as a yardstick for our generation's commitment to developing a sustainable city in a sustainable world.

Green Wedges to be protected and refreshed in latest Metropolitan Planning Strategy

Author: 
Green Wedge Coalition

The good news in Minister Wynne’s new Plan Melbourne Refresh is that Melbourne’s Green Wedges are safe, behind the locked-down Urban Growth Boundary that was an election pledge of the Andrews Government.

More good news is that the new plan builds on and provides much-needed detail to former Minister Guy’s original 2014 Plan Melbourne, which also committed to a permanent Urban Growth Boundary.

Let’s hope this heralds more collaborative planning and ends the practice by new governments of throwing out old, often sound policies and bringing in more development-oriented ones. Effective planning requires consistency, commitment and long-term vision.

We still need the Government to review and tighten controls on inappropriate develop-ments allowed in by the last Government’s deregulation of green wedge zones, especially the Rural Conservation Zone. Minister Wynne told us he would review the Green Wedge and Rural zones after he had reviewed the residential zones. We hope this will now be soon.

In the meantime we are battling applications like:

  • A “cleanfill” application at Oaklands Junction, where a developer wants to cover good farmland and environmentally significant grassland with up 600,000 tonnes of perfectly good soil generated by wasteful development practices;
  • Various communities applying  to set up large urban-style  residential and community developments: (a 3000-seat centre in Carrum Downs, a church in Lyndhurst with 23 metre towers and footprint twice the size of St Paul’s Cathedral,  a mosque in Narre Warren North; a brewery, a private school carpark  and restaurants with double the maximum number of patrons on  Mornington Peninsula.

Our members are also striving to save endangered species and significant landscapes on former green wedge land rezoned by former Labor and Liberal governments  in 2010 and 2012, for instance the Jacksons Creek Valley near Emu Bottom in Sunbury, Growling Grass Frogs in Merri Creek and Southern Brown Bandicoot habitat in  South East Growth corridor. 

Please attribute these comments to Kahn Franke, president of the Green Wedge Protection Group  and the Green Wedges Coalition, 0456 701 663, Rosemary West,  Green Wedges Coordinator rowest@ozemail.com.au;   0418 554 799,   or Alan Thatcher, GWC secretary, 0417 387 678 alancthatcher@gmail.com;   To contact  delegates from other Green Wedges, see attached constituent membership list. 

Background:

  1. Sunbury Residents Association is battling to protect the Jacksons Creek Valley

 from encroaching suburban development around Victoria’s oldest homestead, Emu Bottom;  Contact Trevor Dance, tdtd@ozemail.com.au0413822214  for more information see: https://www.change.org/p/victorian-government-save-jacksons-creek-valley sunbury?recruiter=149425465&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

2.The need to protect the Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ):

We have particular concern about the undermining of the Rural Conservation Zone,

which covers much of the Green Wedges as well as rural land around the water catchments, high fire risk areas and most privately-owned environmentally significant land.  

As part of their deregulation of the planning scheme to promote an anything goes approach, the previous government  removed the “in conjunction”  requirement and minimum lot sizes from the RCZ for tourist and other uses and allowed schools, trash and treasure markets and ‘innominate uses’ (ie uses not named in the planning scheme) to be approved by Council permits, where previously they were prohibited.  We are disturbed that this is likely to mean:

  • diminished concern for environmental conservation ( a primary purpose for Green Wedges);
  • diminished protection for our drinking water catchments and conservation areas in the new urban growth areas and in the rural areas;
  • diminished concern for increasing fire risk and the need for rural buffers;
  • diminished concern for  the substantial amount of agriculture in the RCZ in, for example, Nillumbik & Manningham Green Wedges, as well as Frankston and Casey

The Rural Conservation Zone as it stands is apparently to be opened up to all manner of urban development,   allowing restaurants, residential hotels, group accommodation, rural store and motels on lots of any size outside the Green Wedges, without requiring any associated farming, wineries or other green wedge uses.  We have pointed out the need to balance tourist facilities with conservation of the environmental assets that attract tourists to these areas. Why would tourists want to go bush for the weekend or to a restaurant in the country for Sunday lunch or to pick up their native plants if there is a quarry or crematorium next door not to mention mining service stations and trash & treasure markets?  There is a lot of grazing and other farming in the RCZ, and as we know, farmers see this kind of urban development as a blight that impacts on their work practices and hours and will terrify the livestock as much as the tourists. 

Unacceptable new development uses arising from RCZ change from prohibited to ‘permit required’ for innominate uses: 

Cemetery, Crematorium; Cartage contractor’s depot; Saleyard; Veterinary Clinic

Display home (prohibited in Green Wedges under Cl 57)

Freeway Service Centre/ Service Station (both prohibited in Green Wedges under Cl 57.)

Funeral Parlour (prohibited in Green Wedges under Cl 57)

Hospital (prohibited in Green Wedges under Cl 57)

Research Centre (no conditions, except in Cl 57; cf GWZ & GWAZ require min. lot size)

Many other uses previously not allowed in the zone.

 

Uses where “in conjunction” ruling has been removed in RCZ (except in Green Wedges by Clause 57):

Restaurants; Residential hotels; Group accommodation

 

Uses changed from prohibited to permit required

Primary & secondary school

Trash and Treasure Market

Animal boarding. 

13/03/2017

Big dip for theme park

Author: 
Dandenong Journal

Attached is an article from the Dandenong Journal 23 January 2017 entiled 'Big dip for the theme park'. This concerns a planning application for a Chinese theme park in the City of Greater Dandenong Green Wedge. 

23/01/2017

Church to 'spoil' Green Wedge

A copy of an story published by the Greater Dandenong Leader newspaper on 16 January 2017 on page 8 entitled "Church to 'spoil' Green Wedge' is attached. 

16/01/2017

Yarra Ranges Shire proposed planning scheme amendment C148

Author: 
Green Wedge Coalition

The Green Wedge Coalition sees one of the major threats to the future of the Green Wedges as being a ‘death by a thousand cuts’. This refers to increasing evidence of planning applications that seek to enable uses that tip the balance from an open rural landscape to an urban built environment.

Each individual planning application may seem relatively innocuous but the cumulative impact of many similar planning decisions over time will see the loss of the Green Wedges.

Thursday, 1 December, 2016

City of Greater Dandenong C143 Implementation of the Greater Dandenong Green Wedge Management Plan

Author: 
Defenders of the South East Green Wedge

In late October Planning Panels Victoria held a planning hearing to address the proposed Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme Amendment C143: South East Green Wedge Management Plan 2014.

Wednesday, 2 November, 2016

Proposals for built development threatens the Frankston section of the South East Green Wedge

Author: 
Defenders of the South East Green Wedge

On 18 July Frankston Council approved plans for a very large double storey ‘place of worship’ on the corner of Boundary and Frankston Dandenong Roads, Carrum Downs, in the South East Green Wedge. The complex also includes two ancillary buildings, a guest house, a caretaker's house and a barn, with a combined footprint exceeding that of the Bunnings Frankston building.

04/08/2016

Bottle shop blow to 'Tully's Shed plans

Author: 
Southern Peninsula News

THE Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has refused permission for a bottle shop to be added to the sales and restaurant activities at Tully’s Shed, in Moorooduc Highway, Mornington.

The decision follows a site inspection by VCAT senior member Russell Byard who described the “shed” as a supermarket offering goods from around the world.

The decision to not allow the bottle shop can only be overturned by the Supreme Court or VCAT.

02/08/2016

Plan Melbourne refresh - submissions analysis May 2016

Author: 
Green Wedge Coalition

Plan Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Strategy Submissions Analysis - May 2016

This following documentation is a direct extraction of content from the State Government’s recently released Plan Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Strategy Submissions Analysis May 2016 relevant to the issues of the Green Wedge Coalition as detailed in our submission to Plan Melbourne refresh process made in December last year.

This report was independently prepared for the State Government by Capire Consulting.

27/06/2016

Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme C143 - update 4 June 2106

Author: 
Defenders of the South East Green Wedge

Update:

The Greater Dandenong Council has advised that the Council will be considering a report about submissions received on Amendment C143 at its Ordinary Meeting of the Council on Tuesday 14 June 2016.

A copy of the report will be available on Friday 10 June at all of the Council's customer service centres or on the Council website at www.greaterdandenong.com/document/25/council-meetings

04/06/2016

Large worship centre application in the South East Green Wedge

Author: 
Frankson Leader

Attached is a copy of an article in the Frankston Leader newspaper of 9th May 2016 reporting on a planning application by the Radha Soami Satsang Beas for a large worship centre in the South East Green Wedge.

09/05/2016

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