Apollo Bay residents are furious that council officers recommended councillors support a plan for a metropolitan-style housing estate on the Great Ocean Road.
But Colac Otway Shire councillors listened to the community’s concerns and have deferred the development plan decision until the applicant addresses objections.
The applicant has already started conditionally selling blocks in the 139-lot residential subdivision fronting the iconic road at Apollo Bay’s eastern entrance.
The council received 20 submissions objecting or raising concerns, four letters of support, and more than 10 Apollo Bay residents travelled to Colac for this week’s planning meeting to voice their concerns about the proposed subdivision.
Opposition to the plan for 6230 and 6280 Great Ocean Road, which has residential development zoning, focused on the proximity of the development to the Great Ocean Road, the visual impact on the entrance to Apollo Bay and the aesthetic protection of the iconic road and environment, under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Objectors also raised concerns that the developer proposed only one access road into the estate, blocks would be “above the 40-metre contour line on relatively steep land” and that landowners had failed to maintain the property by addressing weed and vegetation issues.
Residents also questioned the narrow width of the blocks, describing council officers’ support for 12-metre-wide blocks as applying metropolitan planning to Apollo Bay.
Objectors called for the development to include a setback from the Great Ocean Road of between 40 and 50 metres and were generally unsatisfied with council officers’ response to other concerns they raised.
Residents at Monday’s meeting disagreed with officers’ recommendation to approve the development and applauded each other and councillors who offered points of opposition to the application.
Apollo Bay’s Tony Webber said he was yet to meet anyone who agreed with the development and “most are horrified”.
But a representative for the developer said she thought the design guidelines would have a positive impact and reminded councillors that lots smaller than 600 square metres would still need a planning permit and there would be a landscape plan for each lot.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.