Warrnambool city councillors divided on Huntingfield Drive access plea

WARRNAMBOOL City Council is not able to facilitate a second access road to an eastern housing estate despite residents’ concerns about getting in and out during an emergency. 

Mayor Robert Anderson used his casting vote to receive the council report which noted nothing could be done at this stage to implement a new route into Huntingfield Drive because adjoining land was privately owned.

Crs Peter Hulin, Sue Cassidy and David Owen voted against the motion, while Crs Anderson, Kylie Gaston and Mike Neoh supported it.

Cr Tony Herbert abstained from the vote due to a conflict of interest. 

Residents in the Huntingfield Drive area in east Warrnambool requested a new access route amid safety concerns in October.

A petition with signatures representing 39 properties requested the council establish a second entry/exit road from Huntingfield Drive to the Princes Highway, however a council report said there was limited opportunity for the creation of another road due to adjoining land being owned privately.

The report said the council could not require changes to an approved development plan without the consent of the developer.

The petition came after an adjoining 10.72-acre parcel of land with a planning permit for 35 residential lots was placed on the market.

The petition said having only one way in or out of Huntingfield Drive presented hazards and inconveniences. 

Cr Hulin said there were “some real problems with only one access route”.

“I don’t feel comfortable with it,” he said.

“If there is an issue and people have to get out, it could become really nasty.” 

The report said future development plans would allow the council to consider the need for alternative access arrangements.

Cr Neoh clarified that the council was voting to receive the report after the mayor used his casting vote. 

The report said a response letter would be sent to the person who submitted the petition, to inform them of the council action on the matter.