Sunday, November 28, 2021

Nillumbik council opposes park-for-hospital land sale

Nillumbik Shire Council has voted against the sale of Council-owned parkland at Civic Drive Greensborough to the Victorian Government as the site for a proposed community hospital.

The land has been identified by the Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA) as a possible location for the Government’s proposed Eltham Area Community Hospital.

“The decision follows a consultation process through which Council sought community views in which a majority of the 1,070 respondents expressed opposition to any sale of the land,” Council said in a statement.

It said that among the main reasons given by the 61% of respondents in Council’s community consultation who opposed the proposal were traffic congestion, parking issues, loss of public open space and public transport accessibility.

The land for the proposed site is zoned Public Park and Recreation (PPRZ).

Nillumbik Mayor, Peter Perkins said the result of the consultation had made the community’s view very clear.

“The community has spoken on this matter and it has delivered a resounding message that it opposes the sale of this parkland. The reverberations from attempts by the previous Council to sell 17 Council reserves are still being felt and it is clear that parkland is highly valued throughout the Nillumbik community,” Mayor Perkins said.

“Underpinning this strong community sentiment against the sale is the fact that the proposed site is also incompatible with state and local planning objectives. This combination of factors made a compelling argument in helping Council arrive at its decision.”

Blue Lake Ward Councillor, Richard Stockman said it was important to respect the community’s view on this issue.

“The community, especially in my Ward, are very strongly opposed to this sale and we have to respect their position. I remain hopeful that a suitable alternative site can be identified,” he said.

Council said its decision was also informed by relevant state and local strategic planning policy which supports the establishment of key regional community facilities within Major Activity Centres well accessed via a range of transport options. The proposed site at Civic Drive is not within a Major Activity Centre with limited public transport accessibility, it said.

Council remains supportive of a community hospital being built in the Eltham area but says it must be located in a major Activity Centre in accordance with the state and local planning guidelines.

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