Conditional Planning Approval for Major Forrest Development Proposal
12th March 2015

Colac Otway Shire Council has given conditional approval to a proposal for a multi-million dollar development in Forrest.

The current owners of the Forrest Brewing Company plan to redevelop the old sawmill site into an expanded brewing operation including a restaurant, function centre and tourist accommodation.

Mayor Frank Buchanan said the development would provide a significant economic boost to the region.

"This development would create jobs and attract even more tourists to the area, providing extra opportunity for visitors to stay locally and explore rather than driving straight through.

"Forrest has experienced an economic transformation in recent years, including the opening of the mountain bike trails network, the microbrewery, a new café/bike shop, and a redeveloped guesthouse and shop.

"This latest development would place Forrest firmly on the map as a must-see tourism destination in the Otways, and also has the potential to help attract permanent residents.

"Council has placed a number of conditions on the planning proposal, including a requirement for a range of management plans and audits to be undertaken relating to noise, parking, traffic, bushfire, wastewater and the environment.

"We believe the right checks and balances are in now place to ensure all appropriate standards are met, neighbouring landowners' concerns are addressed, and the site is suitable and safe for the proposed development," he said.

Cr Buchanan said if the development met the necessary conditions, the project would align well with the vision of the Forrest Structure Plan.

"The structure plan was developed in 2011 in consultation with the Forrest community and detailed a framework to guide future opportunities for growth.

"I am pleased that we are able to support a local business to expand and potentially utilise the old sawmill site, which was once a major economic driver in this region, and has the potential to once again become a central feature of the area," he said.


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