A HIRE company can keep operating without disruptive changes at its Eaglehawk site after winning an appeal against a City of Greater Bendigo decision.
Grays Bendigo took the council to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after it refused a retrospective planning permit for the site at 128 Victoria Road.
The council had discovered the business was operating without the correct authorisations roughly two-and-a-half years ago.
A slim majority of councillors had voted to reject the application last January over concerns about amenity for people living close to the business, which among other things hires out shipping containers, machinery and portable buildings.
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Twenty-four members of the public had objected to the business operating there over concern about dust, noise and the sight of shipping containers being stacked 7.77 metres high near the edge of the property.
Some councillors had also argued that the site was wedged between an industrial and residential area, in a slice of land intended as a transition between land uses.
VCAT decided to reverse the council's decision after Grays drew up new plans responding to the council's concerns.
The changes were "sensible ones", VCAT member Mary-Anne Taranto said.
"Amongst other changes, the revised plan makes provision for three metre wide landscaping areas along much of the southern and western boundaries," she said.
"Importantly, the storage of shipping containers is no longer proposed in these locations."
The containers will now be stacked in the middle of the site.
Ms Taranto said two metre high colorbond fencing panels had also been installed along Crowther Street.
She made more modifications based on a submission from the council and the wording of the city's planning scheme.
"I am satisfied that as a whole, these measures will contribute to improvements to the landscape and visual character of the area, Ms Taranto said.
"They will assist in screening and limiting the visibility of the contentious containers from adjoining public park land, residential properties particularly from the north and surrounding roads."
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