Shire extends deferral of Lorne Structure Plan review

June 7, 2021 BY

The shire's Lorne Structure Plan may overlap with the state government’s Great Ocean Road Strategic Framework Plan.

AN UPDATE to the Lorne Structure Plan is still on pause, and the Surf Coast Shire council is waiting for an important state project to be finished first before it proceeds any further.

Councillors considered a report on the status of the plan, which has been on hold since July 2019, at their May 25 meeting.

The plan has been under review since 2019 and background reports on economics and bushfire risk have been finished, but the council resolved in mid-2019 and again in January this year to temporarily suspend the review so more work could be done with Lorne’s community on their wish to increase the town’s permanent population, as outlined in the Achieving Lorne’s Aspirations document.

The council also recognised in mid-2019 that the Lorne Structure Plan may clash with the state government’s proposed Great Ocean Road Strategic Framework Plan (GORSFP), which has begun and is being carried out as one of the recommendations of the overarching Great Ocean Road Action Plan.

According to the officers’ report to councillors, it is clear the strategic work to be undertaken in the GORSFP “will have implications for all the coastal townships within the shire”.

“The project bears similarities to the Distinctive Areas and Landscapes project currently underway for Torquay/Jan Juc.

“The scope includes consideration of building heights and settlement boundaries which are normally part of the settlement planning considerations in a structure plan.”

The latest information from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) suggests it is likely the Lorne Structure Plan and the GORSFP will overlap in subject matter.

At their meeting, councillors resolved to start background technical work within the scope of the existing Lorne Structure Plan review in the second half this year in consultation with DELWP to inform and complement the GORSFP, and to receive a further status report on both the GORSFP and the Lorne Structure Plan when more detail was available.

Lorne Ward councillor Gary Allen, who moved the motion. noted it was the second time the council had deferred the Lorne Structure Plan.”It was for a good reason, because of the work that was being done on Achieving Lorne’s Aspirations – very much a grassroots document that informed the community about our aspirations, and in turn the council.

“It is highly appropriate that we do defer this work and continue working to provide background work for the Great Ocean Road Strategic Framework Plan because the background work will inform that framework plan.

“The background work would include revisiting past economic assessments and planning controls in the Lorne community.

“Another important factor, I think, is that in deferring we would avoid resident fatigue from overlapping consultation, and so it makes perfect sense to defer.”