Private college spills onto public reserve

Private college spills onto public reserve

Mount Gambier City Council may grant a licence for a local school to use nearby reserve land whilst undertaking building projects.

Council received a request from St Martins Lutheran College to use Saint Martins Drive Reserve during the 2024 and 2025 school years.

After consultation with owners and occupiers of residential properties near the reserve, Governance and Property manager Michael McCarthy reported seven responses were received, with six being supportive and one objecting to the proposal.

“In summary, seven responses were received from public consultation targeted to the owners and occupiers of 125 properties,” he said.

Having considered the submissions, Mr McCarthy has recommended council grant a licence to the college for the use of the reserve.

“One respondent was against the proposal and provided a substantial written response which is reproduced for members’ attention so the concerns raised may be considered in the context of the entire submission,” he said.

Concerns and comments from the objecting respondent have been summarised by Mr McCarthy in his report.

“The basis of the objecting arguments are largely focused on the provision of support to non-government schools and responsibility for (child) safety matters and maintenance issues,” he said.

“Concerns raised were not specifically objecting to the land being used for the proposed purpose.”

When the matter was raised at council’s December meeting, Mr McCarthy highlighted similar licensing arrangements were in place for Reidy Park Primary School and Tenison Woods College.

“Each of these other private and government schools pay an annual licence fee comprising a proportion of council’s grounds maintenance costs,” he said.

“A similar licence fee would be proposed to apply to any arrangement granted to St Martins Lutheran College, including to cover any additional maintenance costs to accommodate their use.”

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