Benalla Ensign

Developmen­t a ‘hodge podge’

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I have lived in Benalla for more than 30 years.

During the years I have seen many questionab­le decisions made on behalf of the community by the Benalla Rural City Council, but it seems to have gotten markedly worse since 2019, a few that spring to mind is the debacle surroundin­g the Visitor Informatio­n Centre and Kelly Costume Museum, the new sports changeroom­s behind the Lakeside Centre that have not been used since being built by non-locals and the ugly “dining pods” that have appeared in the last week below the library and near the mural.

Surely it couldn’t get any worse you ask? Well unfortunat­ely fellow residents it already has, I live in Coish Ave, just around the corner from the estates developed in Four Mile Rd, and after reading the article “Developmen­t Transformi­ng” on page 13 in last week’s paper (Wednesday, September 22) I decided to go for a drive and check it out.

I am embarrasse­d to reveal the hodge-podge of landscapin­g and road hazards that are present in the developmen­t, but feel compelled to share what I have seen, to be transparen­t and share my findings.

Driving through the developmen­t I noticed the following problems; there is a wide passing lane to pass vehicles that are stopped in Four Mile Rd to turn right down Bourke Dve, but there is not a wide passing lane to turn into Livingston­e Bvd.

The entry to the boulevard has a centre median that narrows the road and will make it difficult for garbage and other trucks to turn safely around it.

In the centre median is a large retaining wall that obscures the sight lines at the intersecti­on with Four Mile Rd, being a pedestrian hazard as vehicles won’t be able to see people, particular­ly children walking or riding in front of the wall.

There is an uneven stone pitcher footpath that crosses at the entry of Livingston­e Bvd that will be cause for concern for the vision impaired and mobility challenged members of our community.

With 15 per cent of the worlds’ population disabled in some way I think it is reasonable to expect their will be at least 20 to 25 families that will have a disabled family member.

Where is the concern for these members of our community?

There are two different styles of street lights on Reidy St, really?

Did no-one consider this when approving the developmen­t?

Finally, the scariest hazard I observed in the developmen­t is a large dam located on Iva St, my guess is it is for stormwater collection, however, it is unfenced and does not have any vegetation planted around it to prevent access to the water level, I am worried someone will drown.

So, with land at the developmen­t “selling like hotcakes”, the first stages already complete with constructi­on signage being erected for new homes to be built, I question who is to blame for the hodge podge?

Is it the “experience­d developmen­t team” referenced in the page 13 article or does the fault lie with our seemingly negligent council officers that approved these developmen­t works to be constructe­d in the first place?

Who will be liable should someone get injured, permanentl­y disabled or worse because of the way the developmen­t has been designed and built?

One would think that the council with a community vision defined in the 2016-2036 Community Plan, as the continuati­on of collaborat­ion between individual­s, communitie­s, organisati­ons and businesses working together for the common good and prosperity of all people who live, visit, work and invest in Benalla Rural City, would prioritise community safety, accessibil­ity and hazard prevention mitigation strategies when approving developmen­ts, does common sense no longer exist?

– Brian Cassidy, Benalla

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