8 February, 2024

Farms over houses; subdivision rejected

CORANGAMITE Shire councillors have knocked back a subdivision application to excise a historic family home from farmland, citing a desire to protect farming despite more than a dozen subdivisions on the same street.

By wd-news

The application came before councillors at last week’s Ordinary Meeting of Council, proposing the existing dwelling on 221 Dalvui Lane be excised from 30.49 hectares of farming land.

The property, owned by the Glennen family, has been the site of one of the south west’s most successful agricultural businesses.

Three separate dwellings are currently utilised by the Glennens as a primary base of business and to house workers, while the proposed excise dwelling is the original Glennen home which has not been used by a family working on the farm since 1941.

The application proposed the excision of the house and land, approximately an acre in size, to retain a local base for the family.

In making deputations before council on the item, the family argued no objections had been received against the application, the dwelling holds great sentimental value and the subdivision would provide a home base for the family to run its charitable organisation, the C J & B Glennen Charitable Foundation, a registered charity which has donated around $250,000 to the community since 2016.

Despite the plea, the recommendation before council stated rejecting the application would be in line with the Corangamite Planning Scheme which discourages the creation of small rural residential lots in productive agricultural areas, particularly which they raise issues around the continuation of agriculture, land use conflict and protecting the right to farm.

Cr Geraldine Conheady moved the motion, stating she appreciated the sentiment and arguments put forward.

“I thought long and hard about this, and sought a fair bit of advice about it

“I would say that on face value this application appears quite innocuous, but I really believe it actually represents very likely complications in the farming zone.

“I think we have an example here where we would be mindful of the purpose and policy direction…, and the legacy of the decisions we make.”

Cr Conheady said she recognised existing properties on the lane had been similarly subdivided, but said those decisions were made prior to the Subdivision Act or tightening of council policy on subdivisions.

“We recognise the need to protect the farming zone from ad hoc planning, adverse amenity and potential land use conflict,” she said.

“I believe the farming zone in the Terang, Noorat and Glenormiston area is particularly at risk as many farms do have multiple dwellings and multiple titles as well.”

Cr Ruth Gstrein seconded the motion, stating she “unfortunately” could not support the application.

“It would be a small lot, just over an acre, which has no direct link to any agricultural use or any buffers, and in close proximity to an operational dairy,” she said.

“Looking forward, I think we have to protect the right to farm at all costs.”

Cr Jamie Vogels spoke against the motion due to previous subdivisions being approved and no objections being received from neighbours or the wider community.

“The number one thing I would be looking at is if there’s a lot of subdivisions there already and the people don’t want more,” he said.

“The 30 hectares that would attach back to the dairy farm would actually improve the value of the land for agriculture rather than being on smaller lot.

“I think it’s proven there are other subdivisions around there and none of them are upset, so it’s probably not ideal but I can’t see the massive issue.”

The motion was carried 6-1, with only Cr Vogels voting against.


Most Popular