Council’s concerns about proposed plans

Tara Murray

​​Brimbank council has expressed concerns about the impact proposed changes to planning controls at Melbourne Airport could have on residents.

The council partnered with Hume council to make a joint submission to the Melbourne Airport Environs Safeguarding Standing Advisory Committee (MAESSAC), which is seeking feedback on a range of changes it has proposed to address the safeguarding of the airport.

The changes include giving greater statutory weight to the National Airport Safeguarding Framework (NASF), while giving more importance to noise contours which indicate potential noise exposure to properties.

Brimbank council tabled the submission and other documents relating to it at last week’s council meeting, stating the two councils supported some of the proposed changes, but were concerned about the impact of others.

They are against the proposal to elevate the noise contours into the planning scheme and give them statutory power, which would impact what residents in certain areas can do with their property and land.

The council said it considered that the MAESSAC had not achieved an appropriate balance between protecting the airport and enabling the appropriate growth and development of Brimbank or Hume.

“Council’s draft submission highlights that the safeguarding of Melbourne Airport doesn’t need to be at the expense of appropriate growth and development in Brimbank or Hume,” a council report on the submission stated.

Brimbank councillor Virigina Tachos said the proposed changes would have a big impact on the community.

She said if the noise contours were included in the planning scheme, it would mean more costs for people building properties in the particular areas, including Sunshine, or more permits needed to do upgrades to existing properties.

“This a shameless grab of planning controls by Melbourne Airport that will significantly impact and disable growth in Brimbank and impact 19,000 properties by limiting planning and development and possible investment at a time where this municipality is keen to transform,” she said.

“We believe the [noise contours] should be advisory guidance within the planning scheme, and should be used in a discretionary manner, which is how this guidance in the National Airport Safeguarding Framework intended them to be used.

“The MAESSAC proposed planning controls, if implemented, would significantly limit residential development in Brimbank and our ability to accommodate a growing population.”

Cr Bruce Lancashire said that if the proposed changes went through, it would be a nightmare for residents and the cost would be horrific.

Submissions will be part of a series of roundtable sessions to be held next month.