A seemingly "innocuous" plan tabled before south-west Victorian councillors has been met with strong opposition amid a wider battle to protect agricultural land.
It comes after Corangamite Shire councillors voted against a proposed two-lot subdivision to excise a dwelling at 221 Dalvui Lane, Noorat at a monthly meeting in January.
The application sought to subdivide a 30.49 hectare lot to create a small, isolated rural-residential lot, fragmenting land already smaller than the minimum size specified in the farming zone.
Planning officers had advised against the proposal, which had high potential for land use conflict with the neighbouring dairy farm.
Central ward councillor Geraldine Conheady said that was important as any potential expansion of the dairy operation would likely be constrained by having a rural-residential lot in close proximity.
She said the council needed to send a clear message with their decision.
"On face value this application appears quite innocuous but I believe it actually represents complications in the farming zone," Cr Conheady said.
"We have an example here where we should be particularly mindful ... we've always recognised the importance of agriculture in Corangamite, the need to protect the farming zone from inappropriate subdivision and fragmentation through small rural residential lots.
"... as noted, this property has three other dwellings and multiple titles.
"I think a decision contrary to the recommendation creates potential for further subdivisions on other parts of the property.
"I believe the farming zone between the Terang, Noorat and Glenormiston area is particularly at risk as many farms do have multiple dwellings and titles as well."
Central ward councillor Ruth Gstrein agreed, stating the shire needed "to protect the right to farm at all costs".
But coastal ward councillor Jamie Vogels singularly argued against the officers' recommendation, Cr Conheady and Cr Gstrein, stating 14 small rural-residential lots already existed along Dalvui Lane.
He said no objections to the current proposal were submitted.
But he was reminded those subdivisions either occurred prior to the Subdivision Act or were permitted before 2005.