By Jamie Salter
The Garfield community has won the fight to preserve the town’s character with the rejection of a planning application for construction of additional shops and partial demolition of heritage buildings.
The proposal at 41-43 Nar Nar Goon-Longwarry Road was deemed an over development by Cardinia Shire Council, inconsistent with the protection and conservation of the heritage listed sites.
Unreasonable car parking and potential traffic issues also attributed to the rejection.
An amended plan was lodged with council by the applicant following widespread objection but councillors felt the revised plan didn’t make the cut.
Councillor Graeme Moore said attempts to find an agreeable solution to the application had not been achieved.
“When you have 300 plus objectors, you have to take notice,“ Cr Moore said.
“I’d like to thank the objectors and the Garfield Action Group for their support for their local community.
“Disruptions and restrictions of the operations to the existing business namely the Cannibal Creek Bakehouse are difficult to endure and the development would have negative impact on this business in particular.“
The decision to deny the application will protect the original wood fired Scotch oven at the bakehouse, one of only a few in Victoria.
Councillor Tammy Radford agreed the community’s feelings toward the proposed development needed to be considered.
“The planners do all the hard work, so it can be hard at times to say we don’t agree with that but I agree it is an over development and the parking will be an issue,“ she said.
Councillor Collin Ross said the area was not the right location for a two-storey development.
“It would be out of character and inconsistent with the single storey shops in the area,“ Cr Ross said.
“At the moment we have a good balance of shops with local heritage mixed in.“
The win for local residents may be short lived as it is believed the applicant will take the proposal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
Garfield Action Group member Anne Hodgson was relieved council had gone against officers recommendation at the Monday 4 April Town Planning meeting but said she was concerned the process was not over.
“We are most assuredly going to fight it if it goes to VCAT but ordinary members of the public will have to put time and money into getting the application rejected with whatever resources they’ve got,“ Ms Hodgeson said.
“It will be a long, drawn out process but we’re prepared to fight for the town.“