THE long-term goal of ridding Kingston’s Green Wedge of landfills and waste transfer stations scored a significant victory with the final rejection of an application to operate a transfer station at Boundary Rd in Dingley Village.
VCAT backed a Kingston Council decision not to approve a retrospective application by the Froggi Group for a transfer station containing “crushed road profilings, mulch/woodchips, soil and garden clippings”.
The planning tribunal backed council’s decision after hearing objections to the transfer station at 468-492 Boundary Rd from the Defenders of the South East Green Wedge and Dingley Village Community Association.
Defenders secretary Barry Ross welcomed the VCAT decision made late last week.
“We see this decision as a significant step in the council’s campaign to clean up the Green Wedge by getting rid of the many unauthorised waste bin operations, truck depots and other inappropriate uses that have been a blot on the landscape for far too many years,” he said.
Community Association president David Madill said the rejection of the retrospective application for the transfer station is “an important landmark”.
“We’ve lived with the waste disposal industry – tips and the like – for years in Dingley. We’ve put up with the dust and the odours and the noise and we’ve worked very hard to support Kingston Council with their Green Wedge Plan.
“Had this permit been issued it would have been a great setback to that so we’re very pleased that VCAT has refused the permit and it sets a precedent and hopefully a direction to clean up the Green Wedge and put it to the purposes it was designed for.”
The founder of the Froggi Group referred The News to town planner Angus Witherby of Wakefield Planning who acted on the applicant’s behalf at the VCAT hearing.
“We’re disappointed in the outcome and obviously the tribunal’s decision is a final decision on the matter,” Mr Witherby said.
“We will be discussing with the council at an appropriate time frame for relocating the business, knowing that this is something that can’t occur overnight. There are practical issues involved with that.”
He said Froggi Group hoped able to move its tree removal, landscape maintenance, site clearance and waste management business to “some of the sites further north which are currently winding up their former landfill operations and making themselves available for uses such as this”.
Kingston mayor Cr Geoff Gledhill said the tribunal outcome is in line with council’s aspirations for the Green Wedge as an area without landfills and waste operations.
“I just hope this can be used as a clear pointer in the direction we want to go.”
The mayor noted council awaits a decision from Labor Planning Minister Richard Wynne on rezoning land outside the urban growth boundary north of Kingston and Heatherton Rds from Special Use Zone Schedule 2 (Earth and Energy Resources Industry) to a Green Wedge A Zone to prevent more landfills and tips applications to council.
“We’ve got a place to put that kind of facility. We’re pleased VCAT saw it that way,” Cr Gledhill said.
“What we’re ultimately waiting on is the Planning Minister to decide. From our point of view it’s a really good endorsement of the proposition we’ve put in our submission.”