Major Torquay proposal adds hotel and restaurant

May 7, 2020 BY

An artist’s impression of the backpackers’ hotel, as seen from the Surf Coast Highway looking to the west.

THE $22 million major commercial development proposed for a prominent vacant block in Torquay has got even bigger, with its proponents adding a backpackers’ hotel, restaurant and play centre.
The amended planning permit for 85 Geelong Road from G2 Urban Planning on behalf of Baines Torquay went on public exhibition last week.
The original permit, lodged in July, would transform the 2.5 hectare site on the corner of the Surf Coast Highway and Grossmans Road into a six-theatre cinema with a total of 600 seats, a childcare facility for 130 children, a medical centre to accommodate up to 12 practitioners, a 7-Eleven service station, KFC and Zambrero restaurants, and a drivethrough Bean Squeeze coffee shop.
The amended version would also include, at the southern end, a three-storey hotel with 56 rooms “suitable for backpackers and tourists on a budget” with associated restaurant and bar, as well as a single-storey children’s play centre.
Public reaction to the original application was highly divisive on social media – some welcomed the new facilities (particularly the KFC and cinema) and the prospect of more local jobs, while others opposed the proposed uses (particularly the KFC and service station), the lack of parking, and the development’s impact on the character of Torquay.
In their planning report for Baines Capital submitted to the council in March this year, G2 Urban Planning argues the direction of state and local policy was that the peri-urban area of Torquay-Jan Juc would require “increased commercial and leisure facilities for both its resident population as well as servicing visitors to the Surf Coast”, and the proposal responded to this by using “well-located vacant land for an integrated tourism-focused development that will benefit visiting tourists and residents alike”.
The Surf Coast Shire council will not make a decision on the application before June 4.
To download the amended permit, head to surfcoast.vic.gov.au/Property/Planning-and-Building.