There are unconfirmed reports that Richard Wynne, the Victorian Planning Minister, has approved the 17 Smith Street development – although no official decision has yet been communicated.

The concerned residents campaigning for modifications to the proposal understand that the approval is subject to Middleton House being retained and that stronger design guidelines are implemented. It is understood Mr. Wynne was bound by the outdated Hepburn Planning Scheme.

The residents group has written to the relevant bodies requesting details of the Planning Minister’s decision, but they have not yet received a response.

A spokesperson for the group said, “This is incredibly disappointing for all of us, and the future of Daylesford.  The fight to bring this overdevelopment under greater scrutiny, we can only hope, has spurred on the new Hepburn Councillors to drive the Planning Department to act appropriately to protect and preserve the Daylesford we all love.”

“Discussions have continued with the Hepburn Shire Council regarding the application to have Daylesford assessed for a ‘Distinctive Area and Landscape’ classification.”