Friends of Nanga Gnulle

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 09-Nov-2017

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By Megan Anderson
on behalf of the Friends of Nanga Gnulle Action Group

The release on October 24 of the amended proposal to demolish the property known as Nanga Gnulle has left us disillusioned about the inaccuracies and lack of transparency in the planning application and heritage reports accepted by the Bendigo planning
department.

It demonstrates little regard for the community they represent if this development is approved. 

This second amended planning proposal has been gazetted and public objection or comment closed on November 7.

Two heritage reports, commissioned by Bendigo council in response to more than 120 objections demanding heritage assessments be undertaken were completed in February and July 2017, yet the public only received access to them on November 1.

This provides little time for residents to digest and comment on these reports. 

Despite requests, why were they only shared with the developer and owner of Nanga Gnulle now?

Friends of Nanga Gnulle members have had numerous meetings and contacts with council representatives, with little satisfaction in terms of process, inclusion and transparency. Based on the heritage report, it was agreed to seek ministerial authorisation to apply a heritage overlay to the home, yet why did council fail to refer to the five metre curtilage in the correspondence sent to all objectors two weeks later?

The public has until December 4 to comment on the overlay and the process is unlikely to be resolved until March 2018, yet the amended planning application should ideally be resolved in 60 days, which is December 24, 2017. 

The public has been asked to comment on two processes that clearly impact one another. 

It seems unethical the amended planning application could even be considered given the proposed heritage overlay curtilage may be extended, and both heritage consultants have identified dissatisfaction for a five-metre curtilage. 

Why would you acknowledge the historical significance of this home to Bendigo and then neglect to protect the environment which surrounds it?

An Alistair Knox home in Nullumbik called Downing-Le Gallienne has a local significance heritage overlay which includes the “entire building, garden and site to a radius of 30 metres” yet Bendigo council is only offering five metres.

The planning application repeatedly states “the main residence is in poor condition”, yet an independent consultant described the home “as an excellent and notably intact example of the work of Alistair Knox” which “stands out as the earliest, largest and best example of his work in the municipality”.

Why on earth would it only be considered for a five-metre curtilage when it is on 1.9 hectares of land? 

Repeated objections relating to amenity include potential flooding by removing dams and infrastructure on the property,  also taking into account developments behind Nanga Gnulle diverted water to Butcher Street and flooded Frog Hollow.

With the likelihood of high density housing, traffic and noise will increase .

Concerns this development would lead through into the quiet cul-de-sac at the back of Nanga Gnulle have also been verified in a separate report, and council have known for more than 12 months.

Why is council so committed to destroying this iconic property that has given so much to Bendigo?

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