On 19 September 2014 the Tasmanian Planning Commission (TPC) refused the Goggin Foundation (GF) application to have much of the eastern half of the Seven Mile Peninsula rezoned to enable a golf resort and housing development. This decision followed the Clarence City Council’s (CCC) decision in February this year to oppose the rezoning.
While the TPC decision was not a great surprise it was welcomed by many community and conservation groups and some businesses, in particular the nearby Hobart Airport which had concerns about it.
The GF has separately obtained approval from the council for a single golf course and club rooms at the same site as these are permitted under the existing zoning. We wonder whether this would be financially viable and would not be surprised if it did not proceed. The remainder of the GF proposal, including an additional golf course, up to 216 houses and a range of other commercial facilities cannot proceed.
There has been no public statement that we know of from the GF since the TPC decision. We do not know their intentions but it is possible that a significantly revised proposal may be developed.
In terms of state government intervention to circumvent the TPC decision, we are comforted by the statement by Premier Will Hodgman to ABC radio during the state election that a future Liberal government would not overturn a decision by the TPC to refuse the GF project.
In its written decision the TPC stated that the refusal of the GF rezoning was principally because of potential impacts on the nearby Hobart Airport and that the project amounted to a major new urban development disjunct from existing settlements and as such was contrary to the municipal growth boundary and provisions of the Tasmanian Coastal Policy which aim to restrict ribbon development along the coast.
The refusal of this proposal is a great victory for those of us who enjoy walking or horse-riding on the Seven Mile Peninsula and for the birdlife of the adjacent Five Mile Beach. Equally, the decision reinforces the very important principles underpinning the Coastal Policy and the recently established growth boundary. This is the best victory for Tasmania’s environment for some time.