A PUSH by Wannon Water to impose compulsory roof water harvesting in a new north Warrnambool housing subdivision has been rejected.
The city council this week voted to follow recommendations of a special panel hearing and turned down the water corporation’s bid for mandatory roof harvesting, designed to pipe rainwater into the main supply system.
It decided to rezone about 41 hectares of farmland on the south-west corner of Wangoom and Aberline roads, subject to agreement by all four landowners to contribute to infrastructure costs.
The land is expected to yield about 400 housing blocks and is part of a large north-east residential growth corridor.
Already developer Graeme Rodger has launched an advertising campaign for blocks in the area, starting from a price tag of $95,000.
The panel hearing considered Wannon Water’s bid was premature and unreasonable, considering earlier approvals for nearby subdivisions did not have such a requirement. However, the panel did recommend the council and the corporation investigate mandatory roof harvesting for a future subdivision to the east of Aberline Road, which is expected to be divided into about 370 lots.
Wannon Water had argued its proposal would reduce reliance on other water sources, was environmentally efficient and more cost effective than having storage tanks on housing lots.
In its report the panel said there needed to be greater transparency about financial subsidies provided by Wannon Water and confirmation the system could be used in six-star energy assessments.
Cr Jennifer Lowe said if the proposed Aberline Road east subdivision had been included in the north-east growth area, the council would have been able to get more developer contributions to pay for upgrading the road.
She was told that portion of land was not on the radar when the boundary was set.
“We’ve now realised that growth area boundaries should not be a road,” city strategy and development manager Kirsty Miller said.