VCAT says no to Kalkallo primary school

Plans for a primary school in the town of Kalkallo have been rejected by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, amid concerns the application was “premature”.

Hume council refused an application for the Malcolm Street school in April 2017, saying it had concerns about approving a primary school for the town before a development plan was created.

The proposal drew objections from 28 residents, with the council also receiving a petition signed by 44 people.

Residents said the school would create more traffic than the town’s one-lane heritage Malcolm Street bridge could handle, and would have a detrimental impact on the environment.

The applicant had proposed developing the school over the next seven years, increasing the number of students from 40 in the first year to 280 in the seventh.

The development would include 92 car spaces and would be accessed by a new bridge built from Mitchell Street.

A three-day VCAT hearing was held in February, with the application appealing for the council’s decision to be overturned.

But in her ruling last month, VCAT member Tracey Billston-McGillen said she had concerns about the development.

“I am persuaded by council and the objectors that the proposed use is premature having regard to the lack of strategic planning for the location,” she said.

“I have concerns with the lack of infrastructure particularly with the traffic and access arrangements and the servicing of the site.”