No boarding house, say neighbours

Paula Griffiths, Neville Hendy, Catherine Dwyer, Ros Taylor, Maria Griffiths and Shaun Lawlor protest at the house involved. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

Paula Griffiths, Neville Hendy, Catherine Dwyer, Ros Taylor, Maria Griffiths and Shaun Lawlor protest at the house involved. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

A CONTENTIOUS plan to create a boarding house in a residential street in Wangaratta was deferred by the city’s administrators last night.

Chief administrator Ailsa Fox is on leave and her two colleagues, Irene Grant and Rod Roscholler, agreed to defer the proposal which has generated 89 objections.

Planning staff had ticked the change-of-use application from Joel Pizzini.

He wants to reconfigure a three-bedroom home at 120 Templeton Street into six bedrooms including one with an ensuite.

Objections were lodged to the type of tenants anticipated, a perceived increase in anti-social behaviour and crime and how house rules would be enforced.

Proponents agreed to a revised condition to have a permanent on-site manager to enforce strict rules prohibiting the use of drugs and limiting the use of alcohol and activities after 9pm each night.

Mrs Grant and Mr Roscholler requested more information and put the matter on hold until Mrs Fox’s return.

She is due to return for the July meeting before Mrs Grant takes a month’s leave from August 7 and Mr Roscholler will be away six weeks from September 12.

At least two administrators are needed to form a quorum.

The boarding house issue produced one of the biggest public galleries seen since elected councillors were sacked last year.

Among them was Templeton Street resident and objector, Shaun Lawlor, who has concerns about whoever is put in charge of the boarding house.

“They will be responsible for the enforcement of all house rules and management of all behavioural issues of tenants,” he said.

“But they are working on a high-rotation model and there is no evidence to suggest the anchor tenant will be there on any different tenure to anyone else.

“You can’t have a person dealing with their own issues being responsible for others with no assistance by way of training or accreditation.

“Our opposition is not around affordable housing.

“It is clearly focused on the management plan that the proponents have put forward.

“There are plenty of examples of such proposals not going well.

“It is presently a neighbourhood with a lot of young families and a substantial number of elderly people, who are often described as vulnerable people in the community.”

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