A Hepburn Shire resident is calling for an urgent scientific investigation into the effects three proposed housing developments could have on the shire's renowned mineral springs.
Daylesford environmentalist and water campaigner Loris Duclos has called on the planning minister and acting water minister, Richard Wynne, to bring the planned developments to a halt while concerns about negative impacts on the Hepburn Mineral Springs catchment are investigated.
"The developments - two in Smith Street, and one in Jamieson Street - represent 90 per cent of new house builds proposed for Daylesford in the near future," Ms Duclos said.
She said the blocks were set aside for low-density use in the 1800s out of recognition of the importance of recharge areas.
Ms Duclos believed the Hepburn Shire Council's planning processes had failed to properly consider the impacts the new developments could have on the Hepburn Mineral Springs and the underlying freshwater aquifers, which she said were "an integral part of drought proofing Daylesford's town water supply."
"The town's booming tourist economy is largely based around the renowned mineral springs at Hepburn. We can't have development that impacts on our springs and on town water supply areas," Ms Duclos said.
A protest is planned in Daylesford on Tuesday.
Ms Duclos believed the area where the developments were proposed was supposed to be protected by an environmental significance overlay.
She said the Hepburn Shire Council was due to consider environmental significance overlays at its March meeting.
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Ms Duclos was concerned about oversight of the Hepburn Shire Council's management of the mineral springs recharge areas.
She said Goulburn Murray Water was the responsible groundwater referral authority, but had stated that is interest lay "mainly in the licensing arrangements for groundwater and that the shires are the responsible drainage authorities."
Comment is being sought from both the Hepburn Shire Council and Goulburn Murray Water.
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