Kyneton residents consider court action to fight development of McDonald’s, Bunnings complex – Michmutters

Kyneton residents consider court action to fight development of McDonald’s, Bunnings complex

Macedon Ranges residents are considering Supreme Court action following a state planning tribunal decision to overturn a council vote to halt a two-part commercial development.

A Kyneton development for a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant, another restaurant, Bunnings and a 24-hour service station was approved by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) last week after the applicant decided to challenge the council’s decision and the conditions imposed.

Susan McNab is one of the leaders of the fight against the development and said residents were disappointed by the court’s actions.

She said the group would look at viable options to counter the decision, but accepted that a loss in the Supreme Court would be costly.

an architectural drawing of a commercial development
The development will carry a McDonalds restaurant, another convenience restaurant, a Bunnings trade center, and a petrol station. (Supplied / VCAT)

“Naturally, we don’t feel the decision is to the benefit of Kyneton. That part of the town is the main access to nearby reserves and people often go out that way climbing and for classic car rallies and cycling,” she said.

“It’s difficult for many residents to not be considered at VCAT.

“It’s been about the economics of the matter. The council said that area would be developed at some point, but this particular style of development works against Kyneton’s character.”

Big brands coming down the highway

The decision almost confirms the introduction of commercial development in Kyneton, which one community group has labeled the ‘tide of overdevelopment’. Residents fear the big brands will take away the small country charm that the town is known for, with small businesses and well-known eateries losing out.

“The proposal will not detract from the rural character of the Shire. The proposal will reinforce the rural character of the Shire by its location [in a commercial zone] within the protected settlement boundary; [and the] containment of its impacts within the subject land,” VCAT’s decision said.

A woman holds a cardboard sign in each hand.  One says 'protect cultural land' and the other says 'support local business'
Lenka Thompson started the Keep Kyneton Country group to fight the proposed development.(Supplied: Lenka Thompson)

The decision by VCAT has caused a stir on social media after attracting hundreds of submissions airing concerns about traffic and safety, and the effect the development could have on the nearby environment and local economy.


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