One of the downsides in being part of the AIDA planning team is that we can be perceived to be constantly negative and obstructive in our approach to development in the Aireys Inlet district.
What never comes to public attention are those planning applications that satisfy the guidelines and therefore are not challenged by AIDA – by far the majority of applications. Or the advice we provide that either confirms or denies member’s concerns about proposed neighbouring developments.
AIDA aims only to challenge those plans that, knowingly or not, “push the envelope” by setting precedents that, if accepted, will alter forever the landscape of the area – for example, development in the area of the Lighthouse has a specified profile in the Neighbourhood Character Overlay, but is constantly being challenged by buildings which are way, way outside the guidelines and requirements. Other and very frequent forms of “pushing the envelope” involve height and site coverage creep. The prospect of a glimpse of sea tempts many to add a metre or three to the proposed roof height and the desire for larger and larger houses on relatively small blocks can only be achieved by the sacrifice of open space. Many house plans are submitted with site coverages well above the regulation percentage, not infrequently camouflaged by incorrect calculations.
AIDA’s objections to commercial development are often not against the proposal per se, but because there has been no provision for customer parking and no forward planning by Council to provide the required parking spaces.
In all cases AIDA’s objections are made in an effort to ensure that future development does not undermine the very attributes that are uniquely “Aireys” and which are the very attraction which brings people to live here in the first place. We should all be able to share this uniqueness and enhance, not detract from, our particularly beautiful landscape character.
Barbara Fletcher and Gary Johnson