GemLife Woodend in bid to expand

GemLife Woodend is seeking to extend its over 50s lifestyle resort with an additional 19 homes to the west.

GemLife Woodend is seeking to extend its over 50s lifestyle resort with an additional 19 homes to the west, which one objector fears may impact neighbourhood character and amenity.
The 9720m² extension would take in abutting land at 29-33 Sullivans Road resulting in an overall development of 245 dwellings, a manager’s residence and recreation facilities.
The proposal is an amendment to an existing application that also seeks minor changes to the layout including tennis court and RV compound, extension of the private road network and removal of native vegetation.
But direct neighbour Nathan Cole argued the proposal no longer resembled the original plan and flew in the face of long-held environmental values of the community and Macedon Ranges Council.
The sole objector to the plan, Mr Cole raised concern about the proposal’s increased vehicular noise and volume, car and RV parking, septic, light spill, bushfire risk, impact on telecommunications infrastructure and lack of detail.
“Predominantly my concerns were around traffic. The volume of people that are proposed to be living there is far different to the current density that we see in the current streets that we live in. These places are tiny…This is the kind of lifestyle that we moved up here to avoid,” he said.
Macedon Ranges Council approved a 27-dwelling add-on to the original 199-dwelling permit in May last year.
GemLife’s present facility includes 69 occupied homes with an $11 million clubhouse and facilities expected to open late October.
GemLife director and CEO Adrian Puljich said the Macedon Ranges was in desperate need of affordable living for over 50s and that GemLife had largely been well received by the community.
He said there were buffers around areas of high-importance vegetation, measures had been put in place to calm traffic on site and position of facilities were intentional to minimise impact to neighbours.
“GemLife is not here to fight with its neighbours if there are issues we need to address. We are part of the community,” he said.
Councillors are expected to make a decision on the proposal at their August 26 ordinary meeting.