Middleton Grange – The Rescision Motion

Councillor Peter Harle JP

Peter Harle JP

Middleton Grange; the Rescission Motion.

I have received many emails and phone calls regarding the Middleton Town Centre Rescission Motion.

To clarify my decision;
I co-signed the Rescission Motion of the 31st July 2019 Council Meeting on the basis that no progress had been made since the 12th December 2018 Council Meeting.

Since that time, I have received many emails from Middleton Grange residents in support of the Town Centre Planning proposal.

Their major concern is not the height and scale of the Town Centre, but the worsening traffic conditions and the lack of road maintenance, all of which depend on the construction of the Town Centre. Unfortunately, there is also a community perception that the Town Centre once built will add enormously to the traffic problems. This is despite the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) commissioned by an Independent Professional Organisation and part of the Planning Proposal of June 2015, stating otherwise.

The Rescission Motion does not mention “Rezoning”, although the Development Control Plan (DCP) needs to be amended to incorporate necessary changes to land usage layout (RE1, B2 and SP2) and would have been necessary in the plans of June 2015 and the revised Planning Proposal of 2018. The original proposed street layouts (LLEP of 2008) are not considered conducive to best land usage and traffic flow.

The revised plans, which many residents had seen prior to the 12th December 2018 Council Meeting, addressed most Community concerns with outstanding issues to be addressed by Council. However, Council would not accept or consider them without a new Planning Proposal.

At the 12th December 2018 Council Meeting a Motion to consider these revised plans was defeated (5-4) by Council due to the absence of two Councillors.
The defeated Motion was:

“Defer this matter until Council has consulted with the Applicant on the proposed development alterations to the plans submitted and report back to the February Council Meeting.”

The Rescission Motion signed by six Councillors believed Council should consider the revised Planning Proposal that addressed most community concerns, it was never a backflip, and it was always the intention as per the Foreshadowed Motion of the 12th December 2018 above.

Unfortunately, Council Minutes do not record Foreshadowed (opposing) Motions and Motions that are lost. In fact, several Councillors, myself included, had suggested that it would be better for Council to evaluate proposed revised plans the Developer had circulated to residents, which addressed most communities concerns, instead of rejection the Planning Proposal outright as it would inevitably delay the development of the Town Centre, possibly by several years, sadly that is exactly what has occurred and the Rescission Motion was attempting to address.

The Rescission Motion led to the unanimous Motion below that will effectively address all relevant issues and will be progressed at the 25th September Council Meeting, overall I believe that is a positive outcome the Rescission Motion achieved albeit indirectly.

The adopted Council Resolution from 31st July 2019;

That Council:

  1. Reaffirms the December 2018 resolution opposing the increase in density and heights as proposed for the Middleton Grange Town Centre at the time; 
  2. Direct the CEO to write to all residents, via direct mail, in Middleton Grange once a further report is provided to Council in September 2019, clarifying the range of residential units under the current zoning controls;
  3. Direct the CEO to provide a report back to the September 2019 Council Meeting with the following information:
    1. Assumed outcomes for development of the site under the current zoning;
    2. Assumed outcomes for development of the site referencing the document handed over by the proponent to residents at their meeting on Sunday the 28th of July; and
    3. Assumed outcomes for development of the site referencing the Draft DCP which takes into account zone boundary changes and road realignments. Outcomes in the context above means assumed yields for dwellings /retail/commercial space as well as infrastructure & contributions, noting assumptions will need to be used particularly in relation to the amount of commercial/business and retail uses. The assumptions used are to be clearly outlined in the report back to Council.
  4. Commit that if any amendments were to be made by the proponent for the Middleton Grange Town Centre planning proposal an exhibition/community consultation period of 28 days would be undertaken; 
  5. writes to the Department of Planning advising of Council’s action and above resolution; and
  6. Investigate after 6 months if no application is lodged for the Middleton Grange Town Centre other areas in Middleton Grange that would be appropriate for retail. On being put to the meeting the motion was declared CARRIED.

 Councillors voted unanimously for this motion.

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