Remember Manningham’s C117? This was the Planning Scheme amendment proposed by the Council containing a revised clause 21.07, aiming to facilitate more tourist development in the Rural Conservation zone. Poorly drafted, inimical to the green wedge and facing solid community resistance.

You may recall that we were delighted to report that the Planning Panel, convened to consider the community’s objections, did a thorough job of analysis and generated a version which essentially scrubbed the modifications to 21.07. Job done by the community, we thought.

But no: you may be further recalling that the Council was not done yet: it rejected the findings of the Panel, and ‘adopted’ its own version, for approval by the Minister. We closed our last report, in February, by saying ‘Responsibility now falls on the Minister for Planning, The Hon Richard Wynne, MP, to properly support the green wedge.’

Well, he has. Victorian Government Gazette S377, published last Friday, announced that

  • ‘The Minister for Planning has approved Amendment C117mann to the Manningham Planning Scheme’.

Note that it did not say which version, but we checked, and it was the Panel’s version!

This has been quite the saga. These battles are all variations on the same theme: one side treasures the green wedge and its protection, the other sees the green wedge as vacant land, ripe for ‘sustainable economic development’.

Our community has made an effort and been rewarded. Manningham Council has expended significant resources on this ill-conceived project. It would be nice to think they might work with rather than against the community next time.