Shire seeks detail on Apollo Bay resort

February 14, 2018 BY

THE Colac Otway Shire wants more information on the proposed resort near Apollo Bay, noting that the submitted planning application is lacking detail in some areas.

Councillors considered a report on the “adequacy of information” in the application for the $70 million tourist resort at 275 Barham River Road at a special council meeting last week.

Stage 1 of the resort will create 180 hotel style rooms, 82 villas, a bar, an all-day dining restaurant, a main restaurant, retail tenancies, an observatory, a wellness centre and a 25-metre swimming pool, and staff accommodation for 30 staff.

Stage 2, which would need a separate planning application, would add a conference and wedding centre and yoga retreat facilities, 200 more hotel rooms and 140 more villas.

Proponents of the resort say stage 1 would create 250 jobs during construction and 175 jobs for its ongoing operations, but the application has drawn objections on various grounds from many in the Apollo Bay community.

The recommendation put to council on Wednesday night highlights several shortcomings with the planning application, including:

  • No flood study related to Barham River Road, or alternative means to manage the risk of flooding of access to the site has been provided, although the applicant has indicated a willingness to develop an Emergency Management Plan as a condition of approval
  • The updated geotechnical report for the site recommends that 18 villas to the north, west and south of the hotel should be relocated to mitigate landslip risk, but no detail has been provided on how that is to occur
  • No design detail or siting information has been provided for the 60 villas to the south of the hotel, nor have the villas been fully considered in technical reports submitted with the proposal, and
  • No approved Cultural Heritage Management Plan has been submitted.

The Colac Otway Shire has not yet formed a view about whether it approves of the resort or not and thus what it will present to the state government-appointed independent planning panel that will consider the planning application.

A decision on the merits of the proposal will be decided at a future meeting of the council.