THE proposed subdivision of the Glenfern Road green wedge was knocked back by councillors for a second time last night.
Despite officers’ recommendations that councillors approve a permit for a five-lot subdivision at 157-173 Glenfern Road, Upper Ferntree Gully, the vote was split four-four.
Mayor Adam Gill voted against the subdivision and had the final casting vote because councillor Peter Cole was not at the meeting.
Councillors Mick Van de Vreede, David Cooper and Joe Cossari also voted against the application, while John Mortimore, Andrew Walter, Sue McMillan and Darren Pearce supported it.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal last year knocked back the original proposal, which provided for seven lots on the 30-hectare block.
The tribunal recommended the owners reduce the number of lots, and a new proposal was submitted to the council earlier this year.
The revised proposal provided more than four hectares for public land, revegetation of waterways and 3000 trees.
Cr Cooper said it was one of the hardest decisions in eight years he had to make on council.
‘‘Once this land is gone, it’s gone. There will be no other rural piece of land in Knox left like it.’’
Cr Gill said the area was of ‘‘great landscape value’’ and councillors needed to draw the line on development somewhere.
However, councillors Mortimore, Pearce and McMillan both acknowledged that the rights of the landowners had to be respected.
‘‘At the end of the day we’re talking about private property,’’ Cr Pearce said.
Cr McMillan said the new application had been a ‘‘fair and reasonable outcome’’ for the environment, community and owners.
‘‘With a bit of life experience under my belt, I’ve come to realise that life is full of compromise.’’
But Cr Cooper said ‘‘there are some things where you say you can’t compromis e— this is a unique area in Knox’’.