A THIRTY-metre exclusion zone around a winery in Orange’s yet-to-be developed southern suburb could leave other residents in a poisonous situation.
Three landholders in Shiralee Road - the Stevensons, the Bargabellos and the Romanos - will contest the draft Shiralee Village masterplan because Philip Shaw Winery’s approved vineyard will require an exclusion zone to accommodate spray drift of agricultural chemicals once the vines are planted.
According to residents Karen Romano and Kaye Stevenson, the zone will include their existing houses - the masterplan has left the land development-free.
“It seems that I’m allowed to get poisoned, but no one else is,” Mrs Romano said.
“We’re happy for him to have his grapes, but the buffer zone should be on his property,” Mrs Stevenson said.
Mrs Romano said Orange City Council informed her about the Philip Shaw development application, but she did not oppose an extended winery and did not seek out the plans as a result.
“At no stage did they tell us a buffer would be in place on our property,” she said.
Mrs Romano said she had attended landholders’ meetings during earlier stages of the masterplan, but no reference was made to her property until she received the exhibited draft.
Mrs Stevenson said the council had told her it would buy the land affected by the exclusion zone, but she was unsure whether she would want to keep the property to retire in or sell for the subdivision.
“If I don’t want to sell it, I can’t do anything with it. It’s taking away a use of our land,” she said.
Mrs Stevenson also questioned how much it would be worth if the council did buy the exclusion zone.
“It won’t be as valuable as if you could put high density housing on it,” she said.
Both women agreed their properties would lose equity if no changes were made.
Thompson Madden principal Mick Madden has agreed to act for the three parties.
He said he would wait for a result from the Shiralee masterplan process, but did not rule out legal action if no change was made.
“Where is the protection for road users?” he asked.
Mr Shaw plans to plant pinot noir, pinot meunier and nebbiolo grapes on the western end of the site, along with cherry, apple, fig, hazelnut and chestnut orchards, a vegetable garden, a Chinese garden and an oak forest to cultivate truffles.
He said the grapevines would stop short of the fence, but the exclusion zone was required to start at the boundary.
“I don’t think there’s any houses anywhere near,” he said.
Orange City Council spokesman Allan Reeder said the masterplan was on public exhibition until June 16 and residents were welcome to comment.