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Knoxfield development refused

Council has refused two planning permit applications for Development Victoria’s proposed residential subdivision and construction of wetlands on the former Department of Primary Industries site at the corner of Burwood Highway and Scoresby Road (621 Burwood Highway) in Knoxfield.

Development Victoria proposed to remove vegetation and subdivide the site to create 105 lots and establish a wetland with cycling and walking tracks, open space areas and a bird lookout. Its proposal included removal of a dam, often referred to as Lake Knox, after the new wetlands were established.

Council’s grounds for refusal included the impact of the proposals on a site of biological significance, including impacts on the Blue-billed Duck (a vulnerable species) and potential impact on the Dwarf Galaxais fish (an endangered species).

Other grounds for refusal included the proposed extensive removal of native vegetation, failing to provide an appropriate or active interface to Scoresby Road and the extent of the residential subdivision encroaching into the designated Mixed Use area of the Comprehensive Development Plan.

Knox Mayor, Councillor Marcia Timmers-Leitch said the proposal had failed to balance development of the site with respecting its sensitive biodiversity.

“The proposal will detrimentally impact protected species, particularly the Blue-billed Duck and possibly the Dwarf Galaxais, and Council is not convinced that the future habitat proposed for these species will be viable,” she said.

“The proposal detrimentally impacts protected vegetation and will not provide an appropriate balance between the need for additional housing while respecting the existing ecology of the site, the surrounding area and Blind Creek corridor.

“This proposal has received significant opposition and interest from the local community. Council received more than 1170 objections in total across both applications and these were carefully considered in reaching our decision.”

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