There is perhaps another reason why concern over the proposed development at Hanging Rock should not be seen as misplaced. Years ago I was involved in an objection to an intended change to the Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme to allow for an existing disallowed development at Mt Macedon. The objectors took the case to VCAT and won.
An expert witness acting on her behalf of the objectors had interesting credentials: not only was he a qualified town planner but he had served as a municipal councillor.
In the course of his address to the tribunal, he strongly made the observation that when councils consider planning applications, they tend to take into the account the development already existing in the area; in other words, building or planning permits are easier to obtain in locations where development presently exists and that often some development paves the way for further development.
Therefore, in the case of Hanging Rock, might further development in the area, if it were sought, be seen by council as entirely not out of the question?
For example, at some stage could an enterprising person put a case for the building of a service station in close proximity to the Rock?
If approved, slowly though it might happen, applications for more development in the area might not be completely ruled against.
The onset of rot is usually a slow process.
One close to home example is Centennial Park at Mt Macedon which was once an expanse of open, natural parkland, enjoyed by many visitors at weekends, it is now dotted with inappropriate monuments and signage, with possibly more to come. State-wide, examples are legion.