VICTORIA’S Minister for Planning has promised to protect the green wedge from developers as he weighs up intervening in a fresh food market development in Bangholme.
Leader understands the Minister has sought advice on the application from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning while the matter has also been appealed to VCAT.
The construction of the fruit and vegetable market and distribution centre at the Harwood Rd site, already approved by the Greater Dandenong Council, has numerous opponents who have criticised it as an inappropriate use of green wedge land.
A spokesman for Planning Minister Richard Wynne said it couldn’t be clearer that the green wedge is off limits for inappropriate development.
“Labor promised to protect the green wedge from developers that want to attack it and that’s exactly what we’ll do,” the spokesman said.
“This proposal does not meet community expectations for development in the green wedge and the Minister is considering whether he needs to intervene.”
Markets are not prohibited on green wedge land but the size of the proposed development has raised eyebrows.
Several Dandenong councillors are opposed to the development.
Councillor Matthew Kirwan agreed with the Minister that this development doesn’t meet green wedge guidelines and community expectations of what councils should allow in green wedge zones.
“Even though markets are allowed in green wedges, this large scale industrial enterprise that dominates the landscape is not,” he said.
“It’s for real agriculture uses not industrial uses.”
Last year a similar development earmarked for green wedge land was rejected after previously being given the green light by Greater Dandenong Council.
The Independent Planning Panel rejected the property development between Keys and Pillars Roads, a ruling endorsed by the Planning Minister.
No date has been set for when the Minister will announce if he is intervening in the fresh produce market.