Traralgon development ‘out of character’

Latrobe City councillors have blocked a small scale housing development in Traralgon’s north after its proposed layout was deemed “out of character” with the surrounding neighbourhood.

The planning permit application, lodged on behalf of Salmar Developments by consultants Beveridge Williams, sought to construct five single storey dwellings and a five-lot subdivision of a 2000 square metre allotment on Riverslea Boulevard.

Under the application, single storey three-bedroom dwellings would have been constructed on 250 square metre lots to provide affordable housing options for the market.

However, the application had received six objections from the community, flagging insufficient car parking space and high density living out of character with the area.

Despite the objections, council’s planning and economic sustainability department recommended councillors approve the planning permit, subject to an extensive raft of conditions.

In its recommendation for approval, the planning department noted there was no neighbourhood character policy, objectives, or standards in council’s planning scheme.

While councillors Darrell White and Michael Rossitter voted in favour of the planning permit’s approval, it was blocked by the remaining majority.

Before casting her objection, councillor Sandy Kam questioned whether the site’s development was in response to genuine demand for housing and whether Traralgon was “overdeveloping”.

“I don’t think this is what we really need here. It’s overdevelopment, and I oppose it,” Cr Kam said.

Meanwhile councillor Kellie O’Callaghan feared the nature of the development would not lead to positive outcomes for “neighbourhood amenity” in the area.

“While we should be looking for opportunities to forward development, this isn’t it,” Cr O’Callaghan said.