Moyne Shire Council has gone against an officer’s recommendation to refuse a building permit on a small Purnim farm block.
The applicant of the Whites Road property was given permission to build a dwelling despite a council officer claiming it would remove valuable farm land with a productive capacity from the area.
Councillors argued the block had not been used for agriculture in years and was suitably placed for housing development.
Deputy mayor James Purcell, along with Cr Colin Ryan and Cr Ken Gale, agreed with the council officer’s recommendation, which stated the property was in a farming zone and did not qualify for exceptional circumstance.
“After our site visit it doesn’t fall with my categorising of exceptional circumstances and I can’t support it,” he said.
However, Cr Mick Wolfe argued the property had not been used for farming for at least 40 years.
“It’s a good little block, and if you go two kilometres down the road Purnim has a new subdivision there,” he said. “It’s going to be a natural progression.
“These people just want to build a small house out of harm’s way, so let’s give them a chance to build a house.”
Cr Jill Parker said the block was in an ideal spot for a development and was unlikely to be used for farming.
“To have a house on this block is not detrimental to the landscape in any way, shape or form,” she said.
“There are two houses on the same road already removed from the purpose of agriculture.
“It’s so obvious these two acres are already removed from agriculture.
“I don’t see it returning to agriculture, so I don’t see this as a detriment.
“Purnim is the ideal spot to place a development.
“It’s a good distance from Warrnambool and is a great place to move if you want to commute.”
Meanwhile, a Port Fairy resident has been granted permission to build a new dwelling and fence, following the former building’s demolition on Campbell Street.
Councillors approved the permit with an amendment requiring the applicant to limit the western wall’s maximum height to three metres, satisfying a neighbouring objector and keeping the building’s appearance to the community standard.
Cr Harris said the approved amendment would make sense for both parties.
“Hopefully everyone wins.”