Open Letter from W Ballinger re proposed Barham River Rd Development

17 October 2017

If anyone is not entirely comfortable with the proposed mega-hotel at 275 Barham River Road, and would like to place a written objection, but are unsure of the process, or which points of objection will be effective, perhaps the following may be helpful.

1. Objections should be posted or emailed to arrive at COC before next Tuesday October 24

Postal address; Colac Otway Shire P.O. Box 283 Colac Vic.3250

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

2. Go to this link to download the objection form.  

Go to 2. Making a Submission then download the Objection to the Granting of a Planning Permit form

The Planning permit number: P.P 169/2017-1

What is Proposed?, Use and Development of a Residential Hotel and Leisure and Recreation Facility

What Land is proposed to be developed?; 275 Barham River Road Apollo Bay

Who has Applied for the Permit? ; Ocean United Investments Group Pty Ltd

3. What are the reasons for your Objections?

Here you put what aspects of the application/development that you object to. The following is a list of some points which may help with this.


• The application provides no net community benefit as required under clause 4 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

• The application is ad hoc and not consistent with fair and orderly planning as required under clause 4 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

• The application proposes conflicting land uses with adjoining agricultural properties and will cause significant off-site amenity impacts conflicting with clause 65 of the Planning Scheme.

• The application is ‘opportunistic’ and will only benefit the developer/s.

• The application fails to comply with Environmental Significant Zone which affects a large portion of the site.

• The entire site is affected by the Erosion Management Overlay and the proposal will require extraordinary excavation and earth works thus changing the land stability.

• The proposed development will also create substantial hard surface areas impacting upon the surrounding land uses and environmental integrity of the area.

• The proposal fails to provide any meaningful infrastructure reform that would seek to divert additional traffic away from the quiet residential areas of Apollo Bay township and suitable alternatives in the first instance.

• Whilst the land was recently zone Rural Activity Zone , the ‘scale’ of the development goes well beyond a small coastal village development and will negatively change the fabric of this small unique township.

• The Rural Activity Zone Schedule clearly states the scale of the development needs to be relevant to the land size and surrounding uses, subservient to the landscape so as not to detract from the quality of the landscape and a build form reflective of surrounding land uses with net gains for environmental outcomes. This development goes well beyond providing a sound response to these considerations and requires a fundamental rethink.

• The proposal is contrary to a number of the RAZ Decision Guidelines.

• The proposal is contrary to the following State Planning Policies:

o Clause 12 Environmental and Landscape Values;

o Clause 13 Environmental Risks;

o Clause 14.01-1 Protection of Agricultural Land and clause 14.01-2 Sustainable agricultural land use;

o Clause 14.02 Water (in regard to potential impact to the Barham River and water quality runoff to adjoining properties).

o Clause 17 Economic Development

• The proposal is contrary to the following Local Planning Policies:

o Clause 21.04 Environment

o Clause 21.05 Economic Development

 Clause 21.05-1 Agriculture – conflicting land use impact upon adjoining agricultural enterprises

 Clause 21.05-4 Tourism – this application fails to encourage investment in tourism that has close linkages with local industries and the environment and will negatively impact upon current tourist trade along the main commercial strip of Apollo Bay.

• It is understood the proposal is based upon guests staying on average 4 nights stay (or similar). This premise is entirely inconsistent with all Industry statistics and is unenforceable under planning permit conditions and therefore all supporting consultant’s expert reports should reflect single night stay projections, and include impact to Apollo Bay community caused by construction vehicles.

• The proposed height of the Hotel is unprecedented and inconsistent with Apollo Bay buildings and planning and building requirements

• The premise that 75% of guests will arrive buy 50 seat bus contradicts industry reality and all tourism body statistics. Those that do arrive by bus, eat at the development and leave the next day provide no net benefit to Apollo Bay Community.

• The vast majority of guests will arrive by mini-bus, rental car and private vehicle, and the development will redirect this existing trade and vital ongoing investment away from the existing Apollo Bay tourism community, causing negative net community benefit.

• The proposal fails to provide any meaningful infrastructure reform required to meet the demand for water from a development with capacity greater than the population of Apollo Bay

• The proposed development detracts from the fundamental character of Apollo Bay, and the reason most residents choose to live here; Picturesque, quiet, safe, seaside village.

So if anyone feels any of the above points are relevant to their concerns, please feel free to include along with your own take on the state of affairs, and make written objection in the prescribe format before October 24

Warrick Ballinger

See here for further information about this proposed development.

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