Background

Overview

Planning Permit Application PP2016/126 was considered by Council in December 2016 with a decision made to issue a Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit with conditions. An application for review was made with VCAT by objectors and the application was listed for a hearing. 

Following a Compulsory Conference, held on 15 May 2017 and 23 June 2017, a series of permit conditions were agreed to by all parties and on 30 June 2017 VCAT ultimately issued a consent order instructing Council to grant a planning permit, subject to conditions. 

Planning Permit PP2016/126 was issued by Council on 3 July 2017 for the Use and Development of Land for an Integrated Eco-Tourism Facility, Removal of Native Vegetation, Alteration to Road Zone Category 1 and Liquor Licence.

Amended Planning Permit PP2016/126.A was issued by Council on 25 March 2022 to vary Department of Transport requirements relating to the Great Ocean Road and Old Coach Road intersection upgrade.

A copy of the current version of the Planning Permit is available here(PDF, 1MB) in accordance with the public availability requirements of Section 70 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

The permit

The amended permit contains 70 conditions which relate to the use and development and covers both the construction, and operation of, the facility. Conditions cover various aspects requiring amended plans, construction and environmental management plans and technical assessments to be submitted for approval. 

The permit allows the project and relevant plans to be delivered in stages and this is the approach the permit holder has chosen to take.  

Stage 1 works will proceed first. These works relate to the provision of enabling infrastructure, upgrades to the Great Ocean Road and Old Coach Road intersection, site access and roads, provision of a new bridge across the Gellibrand River and on-site landscaping works. 

To commence Stage 1 works, the permit holder submitted a package of plans and reports for review in accordance with the permit. An initial package of plans was reviewed and approved in October 2018. Further revisions were made to the package of plans which were reviewed and approved by Council in June 2019, following consultation and referral to the relevant government departments and agencies. Both Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA) and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) reviewed these plans and consented to their approval having regard to environmental and waterway/flooding risks and management. 

As a result of amended to the Planning Permit approved in March 2022 to vary Department of Transport conditions for intersections works and access, and following the engagement of civil contractor BildGroup by the permit holder, a secondary consent request was received by Council to amend the Construction Management Plan (Condition 6) and Parking and Traffic Management Plan (Condition 7). These amended plans were reviewed by Council, in conjunction with DELWP and CCMA, and were endorsed on 26 August 2022. These plans now form part of the planning permit.

The permit is scheduled to expire if the development is not completed by 4 July 2023.

 

Current status (as of 26 April 2024)

On 24 April 2024, Council as responsible road authority reopened Old Coad Road and the temporary bridge across Gellibrand River. This followed earlier artificial opening of the Gellibrand River mouth undertaken by Parks Victoria on 19 April 2024, which has resulted in a significant reduction of river and estuary levels.

New bridge works will now recommence, with Old Coach Road works to recommence after the bridge’s east abutment is completed.

The community will continue to see:

  • Large cranes and equipment around the bridge area with work continuing from floating pontoons around the superstructure of the new bridge. 
  • A roadworks crew constructing the upgrade to Old Coach Road, with necessary traffic management arrangements.

The permit holder has established a communications plan and will be leading their own public communication and information in the lead up and during the delivery of Stage 1 works. 

Council is responsible authority for the Planning Permit and will monitor works. It is the responsibility of the permit holder under the Planning and Environment Act 1987, along with other relevant legislation, to comply with the relevant permits and approvals. 

A recent planning investigation of construction management and environmental controls was undertaken in April 2024, following concerns raised by community members, to ascertain compliance or any breach of the planning permit and its endorsed plans for Stage 1 works. Following inspections and review, Council is satisfied that the works are being carried out in accordance with the permit, particularly the relevant Construction Management Plans for both roadworks and bridgeworks.

Council planning officers will continue to monitor the site and construction works and liaise with stakeholders.