Community housing plan rejected

Residents rallied against the development. (Supplied)

Tate Papworth

Hillside residents are claiming an early victory in their fight to have plans for a community housing estate scrapped after Melton council rejected the proposal.

The application for the development of two dwellings and the use of the land for community care accommodation at 73 The Regency was put to councillors last week.

The dwellings were to cater for people with an intellectual disability, but locals said they held safety concerns over the type of people who would be housed at the facility.

They also highlighted a number of safety issues for potential residents, including a lack of duress alarms, ramps and safety rails.

Council officers recommended the proposal be approved, but mayor Lara Carli proposed an alternative motion rejecting it.

Cr Carli said the scale and intensity of proposal was out of character with the area and that it was inappropriately located in an established residential area.

Councillors supported the motion and opposed the proposal, adding a point that in the likely event that the matter go to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), it be strongly argued that the facility should not be used as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.

The council received 187 objections, but Cr Carli said there were far more people opposed to the proposal.

Hillside resident Alf Catania said the council’s rejection of the proposal was a great first step.

“Tonight I saw something that has renewed my faith in mankind completely,” he said.

“Our councillors heard our voices and echoed our sentiments – amazing.

“Well done residents who tirelessly supported the objection to the proposed development.”

The developer is now likely to take the matter to VCAT, but residents say they’re up for the fight.

“We’re still going to VCAT, but at least our council heard us… bring it on because the whole of The Regency is ready to fight.”