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Morris calls for Kaufland decision to be made by Shire

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Mornington MP David Morris has used the very first sitting day of the new Parliament to call on the Minister for Planning to abandon his hand-picked committee set up to deal with the controversial Kaufland supermarket proposal and return planning powers for the site to Mornington Peninsula Shire.

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday Mr Morris said “…the committee has been asked to provide a written report to the minister on a number of matters, particularly on whether the site proposed is an appropriate location. That action has the effect of sidelining local councils at each of the locations, but particularly the Mornington Peninsula Shire.”

“The site is located in an established parkland industrial area, and since the 1970s all buildings have been required to be set back 90 metres from Nepean Highway…creating a very pleasant treed landscape, albeit in an industrial area.”

“The land is not zoned for retail use, and indeed it is quite a distance from established retail areas. The current zoning does permit the land to be used for shops but only to a maximum of 1800 square metres.”

“Interestingly, the proposed main tenant has claimed in an advertisement that has been published in local newspapers this month that the total store area will be 4000 square metres. However, when I add up the various areas on the plans that are currently on the committee’s website, I reach a total of 6700 square metres, so significantly larger. Then there is basement and rooftop parking as well. “

“This application is a gross overdevelopment, it is on the wrong site and it simply does not stack up. The minister has sidelined the council and he has effectively blocked any serious local input because he knows our councillors will stand up for our community.”

“So, the action I am seeking from the minister is that he abandon this committee process and return the responsibility for handling the necessary site-specific rezoning at Mornington to the Mornington Peninsula Shire.”