A DECISION by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to insist on entries from Balnarring Road and not Brooksby Square has given fresh hopes to opponents of a planned aged care home in Balnarring.
Members of the group – who spoke out against the Arcare proposal at the shire’s planning services committee meeting on 1 April – do not want traffic and parking problems clogging their quiet court.
They presented a 259-signature petition to the council claiming the 75-bed residential aged care centre would be detrimental to their semi-rural street by creating extra traffic flows, random parking and exacerbating safety issues, especially bushfire risk.
Although steeling themselves for a second VCAT hearing on 29 April the 14 neighbours who attended the council meeting rated the outcome “better than expected” because, although councillors voted for the development, strict conditions imposed insist the entry is from Balnarring Road; that 10 extra car spaces are added and that entry and exit from the centre be left-turn only.
Janet Eyles said the conditions would “alleviate some of the problems of traffic and parking that we would inevitably have”. She praised the mayor Cr David Gill for “recognising that indiscriminate parking would almost certainly occur if the entrances were in Brooksby Square”.
“The real battle will come at VCAT on 29 April and 12 June, but this decision should give us some confidence,” she said.
The residents are concerned by a VicRoads’ preference for access and egress from Brooksby Square rather than from the busier Balnarring Road “where there is a choice”.
“We are saying that it is more unsafe to have the entry at Brooksby Square as there will be pedestrians crossing at this point and it will become a choking point of vehicles and pedestrians, whereas the entry [into Balnarring Road] would not have the complication of pedestrians crossing,” Ms Eyles said.
“All traffic would flow into the facility and there would be no inconvenience and [no] safety threat to Brooksby Square residents.
“We would prefer that the facility is not built on that site as it is an over-development but … we are willing to compromise.”
Arcare was contacted for comment