VCAT decision puts Peninsula's Green Wedge under threat

Published on 24 January 2023


At a special meeting on Tuesday 24 January 2023, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council expressed significant disappointment at VCAT’s decision to grant a permit for a large-scale aged care facility at 60-70 Kunyung Road in Mount Eliza, outside of the Urban Growth Boundary.
Council also resolved to ask the Minister for Planning to approve its proposed c270mornpen planning scheme amendment as a matter of urgency, to prevent further parcels of land within the Green Wedge being inappropriately developed.
Despite being rejected by Council and multiple appeals to the State Government and successive Ministers for Planning to call in the proposal, VCAT approved Ryman Health’s planning application and published its decision between Christmas day and New Year’s Day. The timing of the announcement severely hampered the Shire’s availability to review the decision and for councillors to convene a meeting to discuss it within the 28-day deadline to mount an appeal.
The only avenue to appeal this decision is through the Supreme Court. After seeking advice and significant consideration, Council has resolved to focus its energies on strong advocacy to the State Government to express its disappointment at the outcome and timing of the decision.
Council will also urge the Minister for Planning to approve its proposed Planning Scheme Amendment c270morn. The amendment, which is currently with the Minister, seeks to protect the Mornington Peninsula’s Green Wedge from inappropriate urban development and subdivision and includes the rezoning of a number of land parcels from a Special Use zone to the Green Wedge zone, including 60-70 Kunyung Road.
Community members will also be invited to share their voice via an advocacy campaign currently under development that will highlight the risks posed by planning decisions outside of Council control, which threaten the future of our Green Wedge.
Council meeting minutes and more information about the VCAT decision will be online later in the week. Council/Committee Meeting Agendas and Minutes.
More information about Amendment c270mornpen can be found at: Amendment C270morn – Rezoning SUZ2 Land outside the UGB to the GWZ3.

Quotes attributable to Mayor, Cr Steve Holland
“Our Green Wedge areas are highly valued by both residents and visitors alike and I know our community is dismayed by this decision.
“Our fear is that this decision is in fact the thin end of the wedge and the existence of the Green Wedge is under threat.
“Unfortunately, the State Government, the Planning Minister and the VCAT panel do not share the same commitment to preserving the Green Wedge as we do. I encourage the community to join us in expressing our collective disappointment and demanding stronger planning protections.
“We won’t stand quietly by and allow important planning decisions to be taken away from our community, eroding such a valuable and significant natural asset.
“While in this instance it may not be possible to appeal the decision further, the fight to protect the Green Wedge is never over.”

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