Claims council inactive on issue

EARLIER COVERAGE: 

VCAT says no to Ascot units proposal

Council investigates Ascot unit development

Epsom residents up in arms over subdivision plan

RESIDENTS have claimed the City of Greater Bendigo is "sitting on its hands" regarding a development in Epsom that has been refused by VCAT once before. 

They have opposed the development of single-storey units at 73 Howard Street since 2012, saying it is not consistent with the surrounding area and posed serious drainage concerns.

We believe there have been several breaches by council. - Andrea Metcalf

The council and VCAT both knocked back the original proposal of 29 low-cost units; a second proposal of 18 units is now under consideration. 

Residents are desperately calling for the council to make a decision on the proposed development, which is expected to go back to VCAT in coming months. 

The North Central Catchment Management Authority has recommended the council object the revised development, saying the site is subject to frequent flooding.

Strickland Street residents attended Wednesday night's council meeting to call for immediate action. 

They have called for a meeting with planning director Prue Mansfield and three ward councillors regarding the development, saying the council has been inactive throughout the lengthy process. 

Resident Andrea Metcalf, who spent $7500 fighting the initial proposal, says the council had done nothing since receiving the CMA report on November 19. 

"We have objections both on the council process and the development itself," she said. 

"We believe there have been several breaches by council of Section 95 of the Local Government Act which talks about integrity, impartiality and responsive service.

"They have sat on their hands and there has been no progress made even though we're going to VCAT soon."

She has requested a meeting with Planning Minister Matthew Guy to discuss her concerns. 

Council planning and development director Prue Mansfield said the CMA and applicant were negotiating the matter to resolve issues. 

"We are waiting until this negotiation takes place; when VCAT sets a date we will take a position."

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