Preservation: Record numbers call for Drysdale developments to be stopped

April 1, 2021 BY

Drysdale lies within the declared area for the Bellarine Distinct Area and Landscape, part of which is seen here.

THE fight to protect Drysdale from overdevelopment has ramped up with record numbers attending last week’s meeting.

Drysdale Clifton Springs Curlewis Association (DCSCA) president Mercedes Drummond said the Bellarine was represented by 75 residents as well as members of Parliament, with Lisa Neville leading the charge.

“I share your community’s concerns of future developments encroaching into valued natural and rural landscapes on the Bellarine,” Ms Neville said.

“It is why as local member, I was pleased to lead the way within state government in having the Bellarine Peninsula declared a Distinctive Area and Landscape (DAL).”

A series of developments in the area including Amendment C363, Oakden Road and Portarlington’s 49 Newcombe Street development have come under fire recently for pre-empting the result of the Bellarine DAL report, which is expected to come into force later this year.

The declaration is expected to slow down the rate of developments while preserving the Bellarine’s characteristics.

“The DAL will determine long-term town boundaries, height controls and restricts inappropriate development encroaching onto precious rural land so valued by local communities,” Ms Neville said.

“In the meantime, I have written to the City of Greater Geelong strongly urging councillors to take into consideration the principles of the declaration when considering planning matters on
the Bellarine.

“Currently, Amendment C363 is with the Minister for Planning and I have ensured the minister is fully aware of community opposition to the amendment and my support for the community and its position.”

The recent town meeting coincides with the emergence of a new survey asking residents about future developments and what is acceptable for the area ahead of the state government calling on a community response.

“We have received 56 surveys and so far, only one is arguing the need for diversity in housing,” Ms Drummond said.

The survey asked for residents’ level of concern for the development of infills, traffic safety, block size and vegetation.

Fifty-five residents said maintaining large block sizes and green spaces was crucial for preserving the town’s ambience.

“A distinctive characteristic of Drysdale, Clifton Springs and Curlewis has, until fairly recently, been open space, with lot sizes typically in excess of 600sqm,” Ms Drummond said.

“However, current developments are creating much smaller lot sizes, changing our town’s character through loss of trees and vegetation, as well as increasing congestion and storm water run-off significantly.”

The rezoning of 28 rural living properties to 550 residential dwellings under Amendment 3C63 is currently under deliberation of the Planning Minister after receiving approval from the City of Greater Geelong.

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