By Luke Voogt
By Luke Voogt
A community campaign has again delayed a proposed 550-house estate in Drysdale that objectors believe will “kill” the town’s rural character.
Council referred the proposed development this week, after the Independent revealed the plans last October.
Councillors on Tuesday night requested Planning Minister Richard Wynne to appoint an independent panel to consider a planning amendment required for the proposal.
Drysdale Clifton Springs Curlewis Association president Mercedes Drummond expressed a mixed reaction to the decision.
“We would have liked them to have been brave and bold and say, ‘we don’t think this is a good idea – we will vote against it’,” she said.
“But they could have voted for it to go ahead, which would have been worse. So I guess we’ve got to be grateful for that.
“It allows us to put our point across one more time.”
The proposed amendment seeks to rezone 28 rural living zoned properties on either side of Central Rd, Drysdale, to support the proposed estate.
Ample Investments Group, which plans to redevelop the land and requested the council amendment, owns eight of the 28 properties.
Patrick Hughes, who also owns one of the properties, told the Independent last October he feared his home could be demolished for drainage for the estate.
“What we’re facing is a house being demolished for a hole in the ground,” he said.
Council has received 71 public submissions on the proposal, with the overwhelming majority objecting to it.
Of those, 21 were objections from residents of Marsh Court, who opposed the proposed extension of the court to the planned estate.
Community associations across the Bellarine Peninsula had objected to the proposal, according to Mrs Drummond.
“This is unheard of – for all of the Bellarine associations to oppose a development like this,” she said.
“Their concern is today it’s Drysdale – tomorrow it will be them.”
City Hall said it would refer all submissions, and its responses to them, to the panel, which is scheduled to begin in April.
Councillors previously postponed discussions on the estate last December.
“We are very aware of the community views and this process gives more opportunity for people to submit their views to the panel before it comes back to council for decision,”Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher said.