HORSHAM Rural City Council has knocked back a plan by Haven property owners to have two houses on a lot treated as a single dwelling.
The occupants at one Gleeson Lane, Haven had applied for planning permission to lift the restriction on their property that mandated one house of at least 180 square metres.
The application stated that one of the proposed dwellings would less than 180 square metres and the two dwellings will be connected by the two double garages.
“The two dwellings will be occupied by the same family,” the application stated.
Horsham councillors debated in Monday night’s meeting over what the definition of family was for planning purposes, whether individual sensibilities were relevant, and how to decide where one house ended and another began.
Cr Grimble said he treated the application on its merits and pointed to part of the planning report that stated that the proposal met a lot of the policy frameworks.
“It has come as a recommendation from our planning people, who have more expertise than I do,” he said.
“I think that I am duty bound, as in most cases to look at this and think it it was opposed then it could potentially put it in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and in conflict from advice from officers.”
Cr Robin barber said he would oppose the motion until there was more of an explanation of the application and the intentions for the property.
Cr Tony Phelan said he would also oppose.
“I understand that our planning personnel regard it as two separate buildings, even though they are bundled together,” he said.
“The developer has put a covenant on that land to project a certain environment and the people who purchased that land had an expectation that was how it was going to be, on the understanding there was only one dwelling per allotment.”
Cr Sue Exell said she would oppose the motion because it would set a precedent in new housing development area.
“We’ll have a lot more housing in an area that’s not really developed for that purpose,” she said.
Cr Exell suggested the owners look into a granny flat.
Cr Pam Clarke said the two house plan was badly designed and it was not a good look for the area.
Cr Grimble and Cr Phillps said personal observations were not relevant for planning applications.