INDIGO Shire Council, on Tuesday night, approved a 10-lot subdivision close to the centre of Beechworth.
Mayor Bernard Gaffney and deputy Barbara Murdoch voted against the application which passed 4-2, after the former quizzed development and community services director Mark Florence for more than five minutes with a number of his concerns.
The application was originally made for a 13-lot subdivision plus road reserve situated between Tanswell Street and Ford Street off Pritchard Lane, an area known as the Beechworth Tennis Courts.
It was then revised to a 10-lot proposal plus road reserve and formulated a set of design guidelines to accompany the subdivision.
A total of 32 submissions to the application were received by council while two planning focus meeting were held to gauge the objectors’ response to the changes to the application.
Despite residents’ concerns about the lot size/ density, potential environmental impact and impact on the historic nature of Beechworth, a council report stated that in a broader urban context the proposed subdivision meets the requirements of Indigo Planning Scheme and Local Policy objectives.
The developers will also be required to submit further detailed engineering designs before any work goes ahead.
Councillor Sophie Price said she understood the concerns of local residents and that plenty of work had and would continue to be done to ensure the development meets planning guidelines.
“It’s obviously a concern and of interest to the community when a site in this sort of location is developed but it is inevitable that it will be developed,” she said.
“I think our council staff and the appli- cant have gone as far as possible to make it something that is compatible with the area and suitable to Beechworth and to not go against the character of the town.”
Fellow councillor James Trenery was all for the development and said it would be great for the town.
“I think the key fact is Beechworth needs development, I deal with a lot of business in Beechworth through other roles and it’s not absolutely flat out,” he said.
“They’d ( business owners) like to see more people in the town, not just more people coming in, not through tourism, but regular people that live nearby.
“To have a development towards the inner area of Beechworth can do nothing but help the local businesses.”
Earlier in Tuesday’s meeting a motion was moved to defer consideration of an application for a camping and caravan park at Mayday Hills in Beechworth until information is received on how it would contribute to both the future of the area and the historic core of the Mayday Hills complex.