A LACK of communication, this time with the developers of a $12 million residential project in Inverloch, has led the Bass Coast Shire Council to once again fall foul of its ratepayers.
Last time it was the Chinese dairy development at Kernot.
At issue this time is the replacement of a school bus shelter in Sandymount Avenue Inverloch, opposite its intersection with the town’s main street, a’Beckett Street.
But oh dear, the rustic-looking shelter, which has also been described as an “eyesore” by the owners of the adjoining land, has been plonked right in front of the proposed residential project at an absolutely crucial time in its genesis.
The developers of the site are presently awaiting the outcome of a ‘For Sale By Tender’ process, designed to attract the investors and the necessary funds to make the 28-unit development happen. Expressions of interest should be received by Friday, August 14.
If it goes ahead, the project would likely generate dozens of jobs.
The shire has since met with a representative of the aggrieved party, last Friday, Peter Seccull, and infrastructure general manager, Felicity Sist, has pledged to find a solution once construction gets closer and the location of connecting pathways are known.
But according to those promoting what is expected to be the town’s premier residential project – the $12 million ‘Two Views’ development, there is so much wrong with both the siting and the design of the shelter, it beggars belief.
For one, the newly laid sand pathway leading up to the shelter has allegedly been constructed on their land.
Representative of the developers of the “iconic” Two Views site, Peter Seccull, admitted to being very disappointed about the state of affairs.
But he said he wanted to give the shire the opportunity to fix the problem before being overly critical.
“I met with three of the shire officers last Friday so we should at least give them a chance,” he said.
“But I just want it gone. The best location for it is 50 metres down the road, outside the recreation reserve.”
It’s clear the present location has its problems:
• The open side of the shelter faces west, and would provide no ‘shelter’ against the prevailing weather
• If you are standing in the shelter you can’t see approaching buses
• Access to the shelter, up steps to its raised position, is not disability compliant
• It is located close to one of the town’s busiest intersections creating a traffic hazard for buses and other vehicles and compromising the safety of the 10 to 12 students who use it daily
• Those accessing the shelter have to use private property to do so
• And the basic design of the shelter is more in keeping with a rural back road than such a prominent location in a key tourist town.
Infrastructure General Manager Felicity Sist said the shire was simply replacing the former shelter which fell down.
“There’s always been a shelter there,” she said, while admitting that it had in fact been sited on top of the bank, above the location of the old shelter.
“We’re happy to talk to them when they do the development about how it might fit better into the overall development of the site.
“As part of the project, they have to provide connecting pathways and there may be a way to link in better with those.”
Ms Sist said the design of the shelter was standard issue and it was sited in the present location so as to be interspersed from other shelters along the route.
“We like to maintain a 400 metre separation from other shelters and it would have been too close if we put it near the recreation reserve.”
Ms Sist said the shelter was turned away from the road for safety reasons.
She also admitted the pathway “needs some work” and that not all shelters were disability compliant.