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Amendment C073 & Planning Permit PA072/2013 – Proposed Supermarket in Castlemaine

Planning Scheme Amendment C073 is a combined planning scheme amendment and planning permit for the development of a supermarket in Castlemaine.

What the amendment does (Amendment C073)

The amendment proposes to rezone the land from Public Use Zone - Service and Utility (PUZ1) and General Residential Zone 1 to the Commercial 1 Zone (C1Z). 98 Forest Street was previously owned by SP Ausnet, and was the site of the former Castlemaine Gasworks. As the site has now been disposed of from SP Ausnet to a private owner, the site should be rezoned to a private zone. 2 Duke Street and 2 & 2A Urquhart Streets consist of three dwellings currently in the General Residential Zone 1.

It is proposed to apply the Design and Development Overlay (DDO) Schedule 14. The DDO has been developed specifically for this site as it is considered a key entrance site to central Castlemaine. The DDO seeks to ensure a high level of design is achieved for such a key entrance site to Castlemaine, and controls articulation, shopfront activity, and design and layout of the site. The DDO will also apply to any future alterations or developments on the site.

What the planning permit is for (PA072/2013)

Council is considering a planning permit at the same time as the amendment, for the development of a supermarket on the site. The proposal is for a 1500m2 supermarket, associated car parking spaces and access requirements. The use of the land for a supermarket is as of right under the Commercial 1 Zone (no permit required), with only the buildings and works requiring a permit and being assessed.

It is not known yet which supermarket will occupy the building. The applicant is a supermarket developer, and once development has been approved, a tenant will be selected. Once a tenant has been selected, a separate planning application will be made for signage.

Current status

An independent planning panel was appointed by Council to consider the amendment and the permit application, and submissions made in response to it.

The independent panel report has now been publicly released. A copy of the report can be downloaded here:

Panel Report: Mount Alexander Planning Scheme Amendment C73 and Planning Permit Application No PA072/2013.

The Panel Report addresses the key issues raised in submissions. These related to design and development, heritage, Aboriginal heritage, traffic and parking, land contamination, noise, landscaping, infrastructure, and impacts on the economy and environment.

The Panel supported Council’s strategic planning that has been undertaken over the past 15 years that identify the site for a commercial use.

The Panel accepts that there will be a net community benefit of the proposal and that there will be no unacceptable economic impact on the Castlemaine Commercial Centre. The Panel comments that Castlemaine should expect increased economic benefits through increased retail spending in the local economy and shorter term (construction related) and longer term (supermarket operation) employment.

The Panel agreed with many of the submitters that further design detail would improve the appearance of the building to the street and from the Forest Creek walking track. These changes are recommended as additional planning permit conditions by the panel.

The Panel also made recommendations about further exploration of aboriginal cultural heritage and further work with the EPA to finalise conditions needed due to site contamination from the previous use.

Next steps

Following discussion with the proponent about deliveries to the site, further work on Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, and discussions with the EPA on final permit conditions officers will prepare a report to council to allow council to decide to adopt the Panel’s recommendations fully, adopt the Panel’s recommendations in part or abandon the amendment.

If Council decides to adopt the Amendment on part or full, it will send the Amendment to the Minister for approval. Following this the Minister for Planning will either approve or refuse the amendment and permit.

More information

Further information and documentation about the permit and amendment is available from Amendments Online. A hard copy is available for public inspection at Council's offices at 27 Lyttleton Street, Castlemaine during business hours.

Information available includes:
• amendment documentation
• a copy of the Design and Development Overlay
• plans and elevations for the proposed development
• a copy of the planning submission from the applicant
• a range of background and investigation reports related to the amendment and rezoning.

Should you have any further questions, please contact Council's Strategic Planner, on 5471 1700. If you are intending on visiting Council offices, we encourage you to call first to ensure a Strategic Planner will be available when you visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the supermarket be built?
At this stage the development is only proposed. There are still a number of stages for the amendment and permit to go through. Assuming the application meets all the requirements, it is likely to be adopted by Council in the second half of 2017 and submitted to the Minister for Planning for approval.

Once the Minister for Planning has approved the amendment and the permit is issued, the applicant may need to make revisions or have other permit conditions which are required to be met before commencing construction. Once all conditions are met, the applicant can apply for a building permit and commence construction. It is unlikely that construction will start before early-2018.

Does Council need to know which supermarket it will be to assess the application?
The use of land for a Supermarket is as of right in the Commercial 1 Zone. The planning permit that Council is considering is only for development of the building. Once it has been built the tenant can change without a planning permit (with the exception of signage). The car parking and access requirements are the same for any brand of supermarket, so the issues Council must consider from a land use perspective do not change.

A planning permit will be required for some signage. On this site the Design and Development Overlay will trigger a planning permit for most signage types, however signage applications in the Commercial Zone are not generally advertised as signage is to be expected.

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