State government planning panel supports medium-density housing project in East Bendigo

A state government planning panel has thrown its support behind Bendigo’s first large-scale medium-density housing project, recommending a cap of 65 dwellings at the Lansell Crest development site be lifted. 

A panel and advisory committee was convened at the request of the City of Greater Bendigo following an application by developer Birchgrove Property to increase the number of units at the site in East Bendigo from 65 to 104. 

The committee, which held a public hearing in Bendigo in September, discussed a proposal to change the existing development plan overlay schedule at the site, which effectively asked to remove the cap of 65 dwellings.

The panel, which discussed a number of public objections to the proposal, stated in its report that limiting the number of dwellings in the planning overlay would be “inconsistent with the residential policies that apply to the site and is unnecessary in light of the other planning scheme provisions that are adequate to manage its development”.

“In relation to the development plan, the PAC finds that the proposed development will make a positive contribution to the character of the area and facilitate a well-designed, contemporary residential development. There are no traffic, parking, infrastructure, servicing or design reasons why the development plan should not proceed,” the report read. 

Opposition to the development focused on the size and close proximity of the proposed lots and increased traffic. 

A lawyer representing Birchgrove Property told the planning panel in September opposition to the proposal was “misguided” and “misconceived”. 

“It’s not about the size of the lot, it's about the dwelling diversity it provides,” John Cicero said at the time.

More than 100 objections were received by the City of Greater Bendigo following the developer’s application to increase the number of lots on the site earlier this year.

The report will be presented to councillors in the coming months, who will make a decision on the development cap. 

Council’s decision will then be forwarded to the planning minister for approval.

Birchgrove Property managing director Damien Tangey said the company was looking forward to council considering the panel’s recommendations.

City of Greater Bendigo director strategy and growth Bernie O’Sullivan said: “The city welcomes the panel’s findings and council will consider the report and whether to adopt the planning scheme amendment in the next few months.”