A proposal for a huge housing development has been knocked back after receiving more than 100 objections and losing a council vote.
Hepburn Shire Council planners recommended councillors approve a proposal to transform a hobby farm with an existing dwelling in the heart of Daylesford, at 17 Smith Street, into a 53-lot subdivision.
But the majority of councillors voted against the proposal at a meeting held at Daylesford Town Hall on Tuesday night.
Cr Kate Redwood AM, Cr Fiona Robson, Cr Neil Newitt and Cr Greg May voted against the subdivision, while Cr Don Henderson and Cr John Cottrell voted to approve it.
The land for the proposed subdivision is situated next to St Michael's Primary School and near the only high school in the region, Daylesford College.
The 4.88 hectare property is already zoned for residential use.
Plans for the subdivision indicate the lot sizes would range from 549 metres squared to 979 metres squared and are connected by tree-lined roads.
One hundred and two residents made objections to the subdivision, raising concerns about the change in character of the township, traffic congestion on Smith Street, the safety risk of a single entry and exit and the high number of lots.
This is going to be a nightmare.Jeremy Whitehead, resident
A number of residents objected to the removal of an oak tree at the Smith Street entrance and an old building on the site.
During the meeting, councillors questioned council officer Nathan Aikman on the safety risk and traffic congestion, with only one entry and exit to the housing development.
Mr Aikman said the CFA did not raise concerns about safety with single entry and exit to the site.
Cr Robinson asked how the development could maintain the character of Daylesford.
Mr Aikman said the lot sizes were reflective of the surrounding area with single dwellings, large setbacks and gardens.
Cr Newitt raised concerns that a waste management plan had not been submitted, to ensure the access of garbage trucks and appropriate collection of waste.
Director of Hygge Property Joseph van Dyk, the applicant for the housing development, addressed council during the meeting.
He said he had considered the concerns and 'aspirations' of the community for this development during extensive consultation.
Mr van Dyk said the company was working for up to 10 per cent of the development to be allocated affordable housing.
He said the company was also working to have solar panels and batteries implemented at the site and to arrange any other power be sourced from Hepburn Wind. He said the houses would also be built to sustainable housing guidelines.
Mr van Dyk said he supported all conditions included in the offices report, including that an old oak tree and old building on the site be maintained.
"We want to achieve an exemplary outcome," he said.
"We recognise the need to create a new precedent for development in the Hepburn Shire that goes above and beyond the planning scheme."
Five residents who had made objections to the subdivision spoke at the meeting, raising concerns about the traffic issues on Smith Street, particularly around the schools.
"This is going to be a nightmare," Jeremy Whitehead said.
"I would like to see in writing a traffic management plan for Smith Street."
Another resident said he wanted social housing to be a written requirement, while another said she wanted council to support lower density housing developments that properly take into account sustainability and waste management.
Cr Henderson moved to support the officer's recommendation to approve the subdivision proposal.
"It does not contravene anything in the planning scheme. How do I not support a development that builds houses on land that is zoned for housing?," he said.
"I think we are going to get the best outcome by approving the development with the conditions that are there.
"I am loathed to say this but it actually fits all of the criteria. It may be good to say no to this development, but it is allowable to build."
Cr Cottrell seconded Cr Henderson's motion.
He said if the application was taken to VCAT any conditions council had put in place could be removed.
Speaking against the proposal, Cr Redwood said she believed 53 lots was excessive.
Cr Robson, also in opposition, said many of Mr van Dyk's proposals were not in writing.
"We have to deal with what is on the table now," she said.
Cr Newitt said he opposed the proposal because a waste management program was not in place and he did not support the proposal that it matched surrounding residential areas.
"This is a significant subdivision for Daylesford and the shire to be considering," he said.
More than 100 residents in the gallery at the Daylesford Town Hall cheered and applauded after the subdivision proposal was rejected.