The Weekly Advertiser

Speculation amid Horsham bypass planning

Horsham Bypass option D.

Horsham Bypass option D.

By DEAN LAWSON
Lobbyists calling for a major rethink on a Western Highway bypass of Horsham hope latest planning developments have kept the door open for alternative route proposals.
Horsham Strategic Directions Group, SDG, members have applauded moves that shift planning responsibility for the project from VicRoads to Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
The SDG was formerly Wimmera Community Leadership Group, which has been vehemently opposed to a preferred VicRoads bypass route ‘D’ that skirts the north-east edge of Horsham
Chairman Kevin Dellar said the group had made an independent submission to Mr Wynne and Roads Minister Luke Donnellan in December.
He thanked the ministers for taking the steps that led to Mr Wynne abandoning a change to Horsham Planning Scheme.
The change, amendment C72, had established VicRoads as the bypass project planning authority.
The minister’s decision means Vic-Roads must now apply for a new Horsham Planning Scheme change with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
The move also means the minister assumes responsibility as planning authority.
VicRoads acting regional director Mal Kersting has since written to Horsham Rural City Council with information that was maintaining its preferred ‘D’ bypass alignment, with changes, in the new application.
A key part of developments is Mr Wynne establishing and setting the ‘terms of reference’ for a new advisory committee of independent experts to ‘ensure the views of Horsham Rural City Council and the community are considered’.
The committee, through a terms reference, will seek views of the community and stakeholders.
Terms of reference
Mr Wynne informed Horsham Rural City Council of his decision in late December and VicRoads and DELWP representatives met in late January to gather further information.
The council discussed the issue at a meeting on Monday night, receiving an update from technical services director John Martin.
General thought in the chamber was that the council could do little until further insight was available about the advisory committee’s terms of reference.
The advisory committee will have no power to make decisions about the Horsham bypass. It will present its findings on the planning scheme change to Mr Wynne.
The council has invited VicRoads to provide a briefing on project developments later this month.
Regardless of the uncertainty in what the planning changes might mean, the Horsham Strategic Directions Group believes it provides an opportunity to add weight to an anti-option D bypass route.
It is strongly pushing that ‘planning should be for Horsham, not simply a highway bypass’.
Mr Dellar said option D would ‘fail to deliver even the very basic objective sought for Horsham – getting the trucks out of town’.
“A new planning process is required to achieve an integrated outcome, whereby all three highways and other arterial roads are interconnected seamlessly, as the highest priority for new road infrastructure,” he said.
“Anything less will fail to achieve what Horsham actually requires.”
Fellow SDG member Peter Velthuis added the group looked forward to supporting the Horsham council and community ‘to exhaust all options to find the best possible outcome’.

The entire February 7, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=55664

Posted on Feb 7 2018

Posted by on Feb 7 2018. Filed under Community, Environment, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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