Traralgon subdivision held up

A Traralgon resident who wishes to subdivide his property in half for retirement has been told he must apply to rezone all properties in his precinct.

That would see Ashworth Drive become a residential zone rather than keep its current rural living status, allowing for future residential development or further subdivision.

Three Ashworth Drive residents, including the applicant, spoke at last week’s council meeting, each unaware why the applicant could not simply rezone his own property.

Due to the confusion, councillors laid the application on the table pending further information, instead of referring it to an independent planning panel.

Latrobe City future planning manager Gail Gatt told The Express the Traralgon Structure and Cross’s Road Development plans had identified the Ashworth Drive precinct as suitable for residential zoning.

“If the precinct is rezoned in an ad hoc way, there is a risk that the orderly planning of the Ashworth Drive precinct and of the Cross’s Road Development Plan area will not be facilitated,” Ms Gatt said.

“The subject land is a key component to provide integrated planning outcomes through connecting roads, public open space, subdivision lot layout, infrastructure (and so on), as identified in the CRDP.”

Endorsed in 2012, the CRDP provides a framework for ‘high quality urban environment’ with relevant infrastructure and services, in line with the land’s development overlay.

The Ashworth Drive area is the last remaining parcel to be rezoned to residential land, as part of the two plans.

But residents who have objected to large-scale subdivision of the area have described the land as inappropriate and cited the need for improved infrastructure.

When councillors asked the applicant whether he would be satisfied if just his land could be rezoned, he responded that he’d be, “more than happy… I don’t want to affect our fellow residents”.

Ms Gatt said it would be “an effective use of resources, is much cheaper and reduces future processing delays to rezone the Ashworth Drive precinct as a whole”.

“As it will negate the need to go through a full planning scheme amendment process each time a landowner wishes to subdivide,” she said.

“Rezoning one or two properties at a time will not deliver the same intended outcome of the CRDP or the Development Plan Overlay.

“It is always an effective use of resources to rezone a precinct as a whole, rather than in an ad hoc manner, regardless of the location of the rezoning proposal.”

Councillors will consider the matter again at the next meeting, slated for Monday, 16 November.