1075 Heidelberg-Kinglake Road, Hurstbridge
Re: PA2101369 (1075 Heidelberg-Kinglake Road, Hurstbridge)
New P-12 School – The use of the land for an Education Centre (Primary and Secondary school)
This application affects land outside the Urban Growth Boundary in Nillumbik’s Green Wedge, on rural conservation zoned land which is subject to the Nillumbik Planning Scheme. The Responsible Authority for this application should be the Nillumbik Shire Council, not the Minister for Planning.
The application is for a P-12 School which is an urban use for land outside the UGB. The purpose of the Rural Conservation Zone Schedule 3 is conservation and agriculture. A school use of this land does not comply with the purpose of the zone, nor does it respect the Urban Growth Boundary. Approval will compromise the integrity of Nillumbik’s Green Wedge.
Following Minister Guy’s pre-emptory 2013 intervention to remove protections within the Green Wedge and Rural Conservation Zones by moving school use from Section 3 (prohibited) into Section 2 of the Schedules, Minister Wynne, in 2018, promised to rewrite the planning rules to tighten controls and better protect Melbourne’s green wedges from overdevelopment. Approval of PA2101369 would pre-empt the government’s promise to improve green wedges protection.
Government intentions toward better protections for green wedges are also seen in the Draft Implementation Plan for green wedges (Initiative 2.4.4) “Better Management of Metropolitan Urban Growth” Jan. 2022: “Legislate to provide protection for areas of high environmental and scenic value in metropolitan green wedges such as Nillumbik, the Dandenong Ranges, the Yarra Valley, Westernport and the Mornington Peninsula” (p 67) In particular, the land subject to this application is geographically included in the statement of, “Key features and related values”, for Nillumbik’s metropolitan Green Wedge (Policy 2.4):
“Feature – Areas of environmental and landscape quality in the vicinity of the Yarra River, Plenty River, Diamond Creek and surrounding areas.” (p 69)
While government promises and policy intentions for better green wedge protection remain unresolved, the approval of PA2101369 would compromise the integrity of Nillumbik’s Green Wedge. Application PA2101369 should be refused.