Department tries to explain houses on bike park
THE future uses of Anglesea’s mine are still in motion, with a state government department trying to explain the removal of the town’s bike park and former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett weighing in.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is running the Anglesea Futures consultation for the more than 7,000 hectares in the study area, and is seeking feedback on a draft Land Use Plan.
The proposal to use land known as Area 10 – partially occupied by the Anglesea Bike Park – for tourism, accommodation and residential purposes has been particularly contentious. Petitions signed by more than 5,600 people urging the Surf Coast Shire to save the bike park by publically acquiring the land were lodged with the shire last week.
As well as extending the deadline for feedback to the Land Use Plan to March 16, DELWP also released an updated information brochure last week.
In response to why residential land use is proposed for Area 10, which occupies about 15 hectares of land north of Betleigh and Wilkins streets, the brochure states it “would provide opportunities for people to live near the Anglesea Primary School”.
“The council’s Anglesea Structure Plan supports the investigation of long-term options for residential development within Area 10.
“DELWP is supporting the council’s investigation into the future of the bike park, including possible alternative locations on nearby Crown land.”
There has been significant community backlash about the merits of the proposed uses in the Land Use Plan and fears that the rezoning will be exploited by developers, and Mr Kennett joined in the criticism via Twitter on Monday.
“Anglesea is special. But all coastal towns are being subject to population growth and seachangers. It will take strong councils to resist the temptation of increased revenues if they wish to retain their quintessential environments,” he tweeted.
“The west coast of America from Los Angeles to San Francisco once was like Anglesea to Lorne – coastal, plenty of trees, a special drive. Now it has been built out, housing all the way. Our councils should work together to protect our coast from similar development.
“Otherwise our 12 Apostles, our Great Ocean Road, the attraction for us and our visitors will become just another concrete jungle that has no point of difference from any other suburban environment.”
Submissions for Alcoa’s draft Freehold Concept Master Plan (which will effectively be Alcoa’s submission to the Land Use Plan) closed on March 6.