New plans preserve area

Brothers Ewan (4) and Louis (2) with their boats.
Brothers Ewan (4) and Louis (2) with their boats.

Stockland’s Vale estate covers 148ha of land across Turkich Parade and Millhouse Road near the suburb of Belhus.

Residents lobbying at the May 1 meeting were concerned over a lack of public open space and issues of ongoing water useage from Lake Yakine.

Local tourist operator Ross Gundry told councillors about the importance of protecting historical precincts such as Cruse’s flourmill, circa 1830s.

‘Councillors, I urge you take on board how unique this area is. We can sub-divide and develop but we will not get our history back,’ he said.

Stockland regional development manager Damien Long said any changes to the water management had to go through the Department of Water but he was open to discussing water disposal modifications.

Councillors Darryl Trease and Mel Congerton put forward a combined motion to include a 100m buffer to protect the Belhus landscape and for council to get Stockland to investigate modifications to re-direct storm water to Lake Yakine instead of going directly into the Ellen Brook.

Council resolved to adopt Vale Development Plan 3 subject to minor modifications including larger lot sizes at an average of 3000sq m at the interface of the Ellen Brook instead of Stockland’s proposed 2000sq m.

Cr Congerton said the 100m buffer would protect the area so no houses could be built on the ridge that overlooks the historic Cruse’s flourmill.

Belhus resident Sue Hall said the community was happy with the result.

‘It’s a complex issue and residents are so happy we felt listened to and supported by the councillors,’ she said.