Cottage future hangs on council vote

May 31, 2018

9am Update: Greater Shepparton City Council has stated that should it resolve to grant a planning permit for use of land at St Andrews Rd for a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, the VCAT enforcement will be withdrawn.

12am: A planning permission hearing into drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility The Cottage has received 183 objections, according to Greater Shepparton City Council.

Fifty-four submissions of support were also received.

Council’s sustainable development director Geraldine Christou said it was a larger amount of input than was normally received.

‘‘It’s probably commensurate with the kind of feedback you’d expect,’’ Ms Christou said.

Councillors will vote on June 19 for whether planning permission will be granted to The Cottage.

A week earlier, those who made submissions will be given the opportunity to speak to council officers to give further input into a brief being prepared.

The brief will seek to inform councillors of the issues surrounding the granting or withholding of a planning permit for The Cottage.

The Cottage was established in June last year without seeking planning permission, even though it was required to do so.

The council became aware of The Cottage’s unlicensed operation in February and launched an investigation into its compliance.

On May 10, the council sought a hearing before VCAT to have The Cottage’s operations suspended.

Even if the council grants a planning permit at the June 19 ordinary meeting, the VCAT hearing will still go ahead, according to Ms Christou.

The News understands that the granting of a planning permission after the fact does not indemnify The Cottage from operating without planning permission, but may impact the subsequent VCAT hearing scheduled for October.

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