A letter from Judy Johnson about the recent VCAT hearing for 809 Wilson Street
Good morning Friends and Neighbours,
Thank you to all who came to MELBOURNE, and to those who spent so much time and effort in to putting submissions together. Thank you also to those who did printing and an enormous amount of ‘behind the scenes’ work. It was very good of people to give up their time to go to Melbourne, swap shifts, take leave days and make so much effort to be with us.
We all found it very interesting so see how it all works. We traveled together, by train, and had coffee and lunches together and enjoyed the companionship of our neighbourhood friends.
Early on Monday morning seven of us traveled to Melbourne to help back up the Council’s opposition to the proposed subdivision of 809 Wilson St. Ballarat East.
Rod Davison appeared first for the Ballarat City Council and gave an excellent technical report of why this development should not go ahead in its present form. His main subject was the drainage, along with vegetation loss. Questions were asked of the owner about how the “eastern” block would be maintained. This block would not be part of the subdivision at this time, and is a concern regarding fire risk.
Erin was next with her explanation of how out of character this development in its present form would not fit in with our quiet, sparsely settled neighbourhood. She described how we loved our fenceless properties, lack of rigid footpaths, gutters etc, All of this gives access to native animals to move around the neighbourhood.
Melina then gave her discussion on koala overlay. She described that koalas have permanent linkages to travel around the neighbourhood for food and breeding. The proposed building of an intense neighbourhood would block these pathways for the animals, and would remove several trees which are used for food and refuge along the links.
Anthony was able to discuss upstream drainage, pertaining to the water stream which runs through his dam, also groundwater which surfaces on the property. He also mentioned animal habitat and having kangaroos and echidna in his garden.
He also asked questions regarding the fire risk and attention to dealing with this fireprone area.
Jeff Rootes spoke on behalf of ‘Friends of Sparrowground’ in regard to access to Julien Lane and that it needed to be left in clear condition after the works. He also suggested pedestrian access from the street within the subdivision, between the buildings to this Lane. This lane should be available for pedestrian use, it is not suitable for vehicular traffic.
It was onto the 7.36am train again on Tuesday for 6 of us, and one by car. The day was spent mostly summing up. Our representatives were able to ask questions of the solicitor who appeared for the Developer, also of the expert witnesses.
It took total concentration on the part of our team, to follow this, and frame their questions on the run. Our adjudicator accepted suggestions that she needs to view the property, and will do so in the next week or so.
At least it was daylight when we arrived back in Ballarat on Tuesday.
WE NOW AWAIT RESULTS OF THIS HEARING IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR ANY ASSISTANCE GIVEN TO OUR “SHOW TEAM”.