Council calls for action on fill dumping in green wedge

Published on 27 August 2020

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Nillumbik Shire Council is calling on the State Government to act urgently to prevent more fill from being dumped in the Green Wedge.

It comes as Council pursues enforcement proceedings over earthworks at 130 and 265 Chapel Lane, Doreen, that officers have determined require a permit.

Council is seeking the Planning Minister’s urgent intervention in the matter to introduce an interim change to the Nillumbik Planning Scheme that would require a permit for any earthworks involving more than 100 cubic metres of fill within the Green Wedge and Rural Conservation Zones.

This is in addition to an application for a permanent Planning Scheme Amendment, a longer process that will require the public exhibition of the amendment with the opportunity for the community to comment, and an independent planning panel hearing.

Nillumbik Mayor Karen Egan said Council appreciated the community’s concerns about soil dumping in the Green Wedge.

“We believe this is a matter of state and regional significance and have called for tighter state planning controls to better regulate soil dumping in the green wedge,” Cr Egan said.

“Much of this activity is unregulated and Council is concerned about the impacts on the environment, rural landscape and nearby residents.

“We are acting with the utmost expediency, but within the constraints of the legal process. This is critically important, so as not to jeopardize the best outcome for the community.”

Council officers have determined the earthworks at 130 and 265 Chapel Lane, Doreen, do require a permit and Council will commence, as soon as practicable, enforcement proceedings, including an urgent interim enforcement order, with VCAT.

Deputy Mayor and Planning Portfolio Chair, Cr Peter Clarke, said Council was seeking an urgent meeting with the Planning Minister, who was aware of the issue. “This is clearly a matter of urgency for us and the broader community,” Cr Clarke said.

“Based on Council’s review of the earthworks occurring, Council has no choice but to enforce the matter, given the applicant or the owner of this land are acting without a Council permit and therefore unlawfully.

“However, to get the best outcome for our community, we must ensure we do this the right way.”

In other measures, Council will be applying to the Department of Transport to set a truck load limit and 50km/h speed limit on Chapel Lane and Middle Hut Road and officers are preparing the evidence required to support these applications.

Council is also working with Melbourne Water and the EPA.

Find out more about Council's response to this issue here.