Archive:  Amendment C129 - New Gisborne Business Park

Last Updated  18/3/19


UPDATE 18/3/19:  MRRA Comments to Council


CURRENT Proposed Amendment C129 - New Gisborne Business Park Rezoning Of Rural Living To Industrial And Commercial Zones

(24/12/18 - P)  Four Councillors thought it was OK to move this amendment to exhibition stage without any prior consultation with the community, five didn't.  The amendment's surprise inclusion of 11ha of Commercial Zone in the New Gisborne Industrial Estate is a complete game-changer for the future of Gisborne and New Gisborne, with potential to split Gisborne into two commercial town centres.  Don't miss your chance when at last the community gets to have a say on these proposed changes next February. 

The proposed amendment went before Council at its 19 December meeting, with a recommendation to place it on exhibition, which would have been the first time most of the population had heard of it. It proposes to expand the New Gisborne Industrial Estate by rezoning about 18ha of land currently zoned Rural Living 5 to Industrial Zone 3.  And... it also proposes to rezone another 11ha of current Rural Living Zone 5 to Commercial Zone 2 fronting Saunders Road, opposite Magnet Hill.  The Commercial Zone 2 allows retail, warehouse, "bulky goods" retailing such as white goods stores, supermarket and industrial land uses (similar to Vineyard Road in Sunbury), and extinguishes almost all third party rights.


Cr. Mees argued against consultation before exhibition saying the proposed industrial changes were in the 2009 Gisborne Outline Development Plan and people would expect them.  Cr. Anderson counter-argued that the Outline Development Plan only said ‘investigate’ and the amendment's changes were being put forward without any prior community consultation.  Cr. Anderson's motion to consult the community succeeded on a five/four split vote.


There is nothing in the Macedon Ranges planning scheme (or the Outline Development Plan) that supports rezoning any of this area to Commercial.  Both documents only address industrial rezoning, and the first action to be taken is to investigate any future increase in industrial land. 


The roughly 11ha proposed for Commercial rezoning is over half as much again in area as all of the existing commercial land in Gisborne itself.  The proposed Commercial Zone 2 fronts Saunders Road, and putting this zone in this location ignores the Macedon Ranges planning scheme's requirement to "avoid expansion of commercial activities along major entry roads".   The planning scheme is again ignored when the amendment fails address the scheme's requirement for an appropriate zone to be investigated for the existing Industrial Zone 1. 


And not content with putting Commercial zoning where it has never been intended to be, Amendment C129 also proposes to change the Shire's existing incorporated "Industrial and Commercial Guidelines" to remove and reduce the Guidelines' requirements and development standards at New Gisborne in order to provide more "flexibility" for economic developments. 


Map of proposed zones  Note: existing zoning is not shown, only the areas proposed to be changed from Rural Living Zone 5 to Industrial Zone 3 (INZ3) and Commercial Zone 2 (C2Z).


There isn't any formal documentation but you can get ahead of the game by reading the officer's report in the 19 December 2018 council meeting agenda (Item PE3), and PE3 attachments 1 - 5.


MRRA Says:

There are plenty of conversation starters in these proposed changes but unfortunately the conversation hasn't been had.  Thankfully, the amendment hasn't yet been adopted by Council and now at least residents will have a chance to have their say before anything becomes official (better late than never). 


This amendment is another nasty piece of the last Council's work, and what an exercise in smoke and mirrors worshiping the God of economic development it is, sliding a large area of Commercial zone into an industrial area and stripping out development standards for economic development when no-one was supposed to be looking.  You've got to know something is wrong when instead of the amendment meeting the Industrial and Commercial Guidelines' requirements, the Guidelines are to be changed to meet the amendment's low standards.   All of this would also go a long way towards explaining the State government's gusto for putting traffic lights at the Saunders and Station Roads intersection - someone intends it to become a very busy place! 


We can't help but hope that the new Council is soon going to begin to challenge the need, legitimacy, merit, and consequences of the last Council's ideas and projects.


Make sure you make full use of the opportunity to have a say next February.