Posted 5/10/16



'Basic' Clarkefield: Push For Ad Hoc New Town By Cr. Geoff Neil Underscores Potential For Suburban Future

(18/10/08 - SP)  Needs to be more than just 'empty' land, Geoffrey

This week's report in the Macedon Ranges Leader, that Cr. Geoff Neil is pushing for a new town of some 3,000 people to be established at Clarkefield, picks up a recurrent theme, and confirms another.  This type of proposal - from a single landowner - was around before Council amalgamations in 1995, back when Geoff was a Romsey Shire Councillor and Clarkefield was in the former Shire of Romsey.


And then in 2008, just before a Council election, just as Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 is being taken away, up it pops again, courtesy of Cr. Neil.  Geoff seems to think that having no infrastructure, except a train station at which trains rarely stop, can somehow be overlooked as a constraint on development (and surely no-one is suggesting that this train station makes Clarkefield an Activity Centre!!!!).  Cr. Neil further seems to think this idea can be rushed before a new, apparently supportive Council, and Bob's your uncle. Fixed.


This ad hoc plan confirms both Cr. Neil's overt passion for almost any form of development and lots of it (except in his home town of Romsey); and that suburbia is coming to Macedon Ranges.


The odd spot is, a few pages further into the same paper, there was our Mayor, Cr. Noel Harvey, absolutely adamant Macedon Ranges wasn't about to be suburbanized.


MRRA Says:


We're just wondering if Geoff's announcement was spurred on by the prospect of getting rid of Statement of Planning Policy No. 8?  Does he know something we don't know?  Are Clarkefield and SPP8 linked?  Has some kind of deal already been done for suburbanization with the powers that be?


A new town at Clarkefield is 'spun' as an alternative to continuing to chocker up existing towns, or a way to relieve pressure on rural land.  Uh-uh.  Quite apart from the fact that Clarkefield IS rural land, if the this-is-the-place-for-a village idea goes ahead, our money's firmly on Clarkefield being additional to, not instead of, development everywhere else.


Poor Geoff.  Many would fondly say he has something of an aptitude for dropping clangers, and he would probably agree.  He's dropped a doozy here.  Where better to advertize a totally ad hoc approach to planning than on the front page of the local paper!  Could be time to move on, mate...


And poor Noel.  Ouch!  Embarrassing...