Plans for a private chairlift on a Jindera property will go to vote at the Greater Hume Council meeting on Wednesday.
Aaron Van Werkhoven has put forward a development application for a chairlift extending over 400 metres on an 8.2 hectare-lot he owns in Ribery Court.
Only four chairs – solely for the use of family and friends – would operate on a lift line hoisted by six steel towers not exceeding 8.5 metres in height, powered by a drive station at the bottom and a top station, near a ridgeline on the southern boundary.
The chairlift would be located within an area mapped for biodiversity but a consultant planner has written in a report to council “the construction and periodic operation of the chairlift will have minimal to no impact on biodiversity in the area” with no trees being removed.
But Anthony and Andrea Baker, among neighbours objecting to the idea, wrote “the introduction of a structure as large as the one being proposed will have a lasting effect on the wildlife in the area.”
They also objected to the possible noise, writing “having frequented the Alpine snow fields we are well aware of the noise omitted from these types of chairlifts”.
Council officers requested an acoustical assessment specifically relating to the specifications and circumstances of the proposal, and Mr Van Werkhoven commissioned Ray Walsh and Associates to conduct a report.
The report modelled off noise data from chairlifts at Thredbo, concluding noise limits would be met but “a final compliance assessment should be undertaken once the chairlift is installed”.
The look of the chairlift was raised by neighbour Andrea Wall, who wrote in an objection letter it would be intrusive and visible to the whole area.
Council received submissions from 10 neighbouring properties – the nearest existing residence to the proposed chairlift is 115 metres away – with residents also raising concerns about use, increased traffic with sightseers, and bushfire risk.
The council consultant wrote in the report the chairlift is considered not “to be any more of a fire risk than other outdoor activities undertaken within the estate”.
Council will vote on the consultant’s recommendation to approve the development application, with 26 conditions applied, at their meeting on Wednesday night.