But council defends its move to govern height limitsPaddy Naughtin – Whitehorse Leader October 23rd 2017
A VITAL planning scheme proposed by Whitehorse Council has been subjected to a scathing assessment by an independent planning panel.
The panel, headed up by Lester Townsend, effectively called for Amendment C175, which would govern height limits in booming Box Hill, to be abandoned.
The panel noted inconsistencies between the council’s structure plan and its proposed Box Hill Built Form Guidelines, calling them “muddled” and “confused”.
“It seems to the panel that the council is completely untroubled in providing contradictory policy advice for the activity centre,” the report states.
The report also states the council’s preferred height limits “don’t seem to make obvious sense” and further “coherent rationale” was needed to explain them.
But the council hit back, saying it was disappointed in the panel’s “derisive assessment of the amendment” and the way in which it was “quite emotively written”.
Mayor Denise Massoud said contrary to the panel’s report, the proposed guidelines would still encourage development and growth.
“The council has tried to manage height and maximise positive outcomes for the community and our residents — this approach has not been accepted by the panel,” Cr Massoud said.
Council staff will prepare a report that will outline the options now available to Whitehorse regarding the amendment, which may include proceeding with the amendment as exhibited, splitting the amendment into parts or abandoning it entirely.
Whitehorse’s recommendation will then go back to the planning minister for a final decision.
Cr Blair Barker said it was now up to the State Government to ensure development didn’t spiral out of control.
The council has tried to manage height and maximise positive outcomes for the community and our residents
– MAYOR DENISE MASSOUD