End in sight

After a six-year battle, Baringhup residents fighting against the development of three broiler farms on the Moolort Plains may finally be able to rest easy.

The group, Save the Moolort Plains, has been involved in a lengthy legal process with broiler farm applicant Pavilion Partners since 2012, but last Tuesday the group was informed that a new hearing scheduled for May had been scrapped as a settlement had been reached.

The long running dispute began in 2012 when Pavilion Partners lodged a planning application to build four broiler farms, which was later changed to three, with the Mount Alexander Shire Council.

The submission received over 800 objections from members of the community and was rejected by council in 2014.

The applicant took the decision to the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) in 2015 with amended plans and in 2016 VCAT overturned council’s decision.

Community members appealed the overturn to the Supreme Court which upheld the VCAT decision, pushing the community to then take the decision to the Appeals Court in early 2018 where two of the three farms were remitted to VCAT.

In February, a new VCAT hearing was scheduled for May 6, but Save the Moolort Plains’ Marg Lewis said the group has been informed that an agreement has been reached which will ultimately see the proceedings withdrawn by consent.

“This extremely drawn out process has taken a toll on the community, but it has also seen members of the community work together to oppose the applications and seek to protect the Moolort Plains,” she said.

“The support from residents across the Mount Alexander Shire and beyond has been greatly appreciated by the Baringhup community.”

For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, March 26

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