PLEASE note the story published below on July 31, 2019 was found to have inaccurate claims including that Hamish Le Poer Trench owned two blocks in Phillip Street which were the subject of a rezoning application. We can now confirm Mr Le Poer Trench does not own the land which was the subject of this story. For further context on this story, please read: Setting the Record Straight, published on August 8, 2019. We apologise to our readers if the information in this story was misleading.
HAMISH Le Poer Trench spoke to scone.com.au today about his plans to rezone three residential blocks on Phillip Street, to industrial.
Of the three blocks, the block fronting Muffett Street is owned by a resident of Parkville and the other two blocks in Phillip Street are owned by Mr Le Poer Trench.
There are two separate development process which occur, the first is the proposal to rezone the land, the second step is to then lodge a development application for the type of operation for which the land will be used.
At this stage the rezoning is still to be determined by Council and public submissions are still being sought.
Hamish wanted to share his plans for what they would like to develop on the land if it is rezoned:
We just want to open a diesel repair business that will take me from being a mobile mechanic around town to allow me to have an established location where we can do complete the package of repairs to various diesel vehicles in and around town.
We work on very little heavy vehicles as far as trucks and trailers, we don’t work on any prime movers, but there are rigid trucks around town that people have to transporting sheep and farmers have trucks.
We’ve spoken to the owner of this block (on Muffett Street) who’s going to give us access for anything larger than a passenger car will come in through here, only light vehicles will come through on Phillip Street.
The whole place will situate east-west on the block with our office to block off noise on the eastern end to further minimise noise to the residents of Phillip Street, we’ll then have a two metre capped timber fence which will be landscaped by Australian lilly pillies which will grow into another big hedge as well, further minimising the noise.
Th office is going to be timber clad and look like a residential house as it were, so really the only part is a three bay shed that we’d like to put on (the western side of) the block, even then we will only have two roller doors facing the street, with four roller doors facing the northern side.
It’s not going to run 24/7 by the way that’s not the case at all.
Residents are concerned if it is zoned industrial any business classified as industrial could apply for a development application; they are concerned not just about what you propose to do with the land, but what the land may be used for in the future. Do you understand their concerns?
You can’t run on what ifs and I’m not 40 yet I’m still feeling fit and healthy and once we build the workshop and the office I don’t believe that anyone would knock it down to put anything else in here.
In 10 or 20 years time I think I’ll still be working, so there are so many what’s ifs that it’s very hard to answer.
Why not just go to the industrial area, where there are so many industrial blocks available?
Because I brought these blocks, I didn’t buy out there.
Nobody is going out there…it’s not in a good location.
I want this location where farmers can see what we’re doing, what business we are doing and because we still offer a mobile service to go and repair a tractor, I mean a farmer can’t just put his tractor on a trailer and bring it to us.
We’re still going to be a mobile operation, we’re not going to be running 24/7… there are height restrictions imposed even on industrial land
Here we are, we’ve got the saleyards down the road, we’ve got the abattoir where you have b-double of cattle trucks coming through everyday, every morning, every night, you’ve got coal trains coming through, you’ve got passenger trains coming through, you’ve got a crossing just there, they’re (the trains) are blowing their horn and I believe our shed will help minimise the noise to the residents on Phillip Street, but we are putting in a building that isn’t going to be a sore thumb, nor do I believe it will reduce the prices of the houses.
Do you think the blocks at Makybe Diva could be good in terms of the bypass going in and your business being seen there?
No, not really, no I don’t, I believe this is the best location for us and that’s why we brought it.
We brought it knowing it was residential, yep we took that risk, we took that risk and brought the land.
We brought this into Council in September 2018, so it’s been almost 12 months just to get tot his spot and we’ve taken all that on the chin by paying off a block that we haven’t been able to do anything with.
Yes we took the risk but as we first approached Council, we believe this location…and as the crow flies over Wideland shed to Scone Rural Supply shed we are still in that corridor of the industrial area and I just believe it should be industrial land.
Local real estate agents have said if it is rezoned it could reduce housing prices in Phillip Street from 10 to up to 30 percent; they’ve also said that the block that Betty owns between your blocks and the first house, will basically be unsellable, so what do you say to the residents who are worried that their investments will depreciate if your land is zoned industrial?
I don’t think that is going to be the case at all, I think 10 to 30 percent is a huge…I think it’s not true at all. The way we are going to build the shed with our office looking like a residential house on the street, I don’t think that the land sales will be impacted at all by what we are trying to do.
All I am trying to do is establish a business in Scone provide hopefully some local kids with an apprenticeship or a trade, we could be bringing other trades in from other towns that will then live in the down and will buy a place, we are just trying to grow a business, that’s all we are trying to do.
It’s not one man’s capital gain to get a financial win out of this, I’m just trying to grow my business, that’s all I’m trying to do.
How do you think you will get along with the neighbours now? There is a fair bit of angst in the street at the moment.
If we get it through and we build the shed they can certainly come down and talk to me about anything they’d like to and they can approach me now and talk to me about what I’m trying to do; I’m just one person and I’m a pretty easy going guy and I’m happy to talk to anyone about anything.
Editorial note: It was refreshing for a proponent in a controversial issue to go on record with the media and explain their position. As news media we can only cover the information we can access. Good media always want to cover all aspects of a story, the pros, the cons and the different perspectives of the people involved, so readers can form their own informed opinion. Hamish reached out to both scone.com.au and A Current Affair for an interview. As we continue to follow this story Hamish has also said he will continue to be available for interview. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of the rezoning, kudos to Hamish for going on record and explaining his perspective on the issue!