A GROUP of Jackass Flat residents is exploring its options to challenge council's decision to enable a vegetated block of land to be developed into a 72-lot subdivision.
The Harveys Lane residents had called on the council not to approve the plan as it appeared at yesterday's council meeting, believing a better proposal was possible.
Six of the city's nine councillors gave Villawood Properties the green light for its development at 11 Harveys Lane.
Councillors Andrea Metcalf and Jennifer Alden opposed the proposal.
Mary Preston, the spokesperson for the Harveys Lane residents, said the outcome was frustrating.
"It's not just an empty block," she said.
Residents said at the outset they accepted there would be development on the block and were not averse to it, but believed there was scope for more of the vegetation to be retained.
RELATED: Protect the trees, residents urge
Cr Alden's comments during yesterday's meeting were consistent with the residents' views.
"I believe the development could be substantially improved, therefore I cannot support the development in its current form," she said.
She said yield was often the main consideration for most development these days, yet there was a body of evidence to suggest lifestyle factors were important to buyers.
Cr Metcalf said a shift in the rating given to the value of the vegetation on the block in the years since the development was first proposed had been a 'game changer'.
The vegetation was twice assessed and was deemed to be of significantly less value the second time.
Cr Metcalf attributed any confusion about the value of the vegetation to the process, rather than to the residents.
In supporting the proposal, Councillor Malcolm Pethybridge said the block came well within the residential zone and some trees would be retained as part of the proposal, which included two reserves.
Referencing the report to councillors, he said the developers would not be removing many trees on the 6.475 hectare site.
A total of 0.229 hectares of vegetation would be cleared, according to the report.
Cr James Williams said such decisions were always difficult.
He said Harveys Lane was 'a picture' and he understood the residents' desire to preserve the vegetation.
But he said it had been quite clearly flagged this would be a residential area, and compromises had to be made.
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