Conflict Arises over Bellarine Development Project

Conflict Arises over Bellarine Development Project

Posted: 2024-01-31 14:57:00

A quarrel over "insignificant" changes to plans for a Bellarine mega development has gone before the state's planning umpire.

Developer Patrick Zammit's effort to modify a portion of the Central Rd development precinct in Drysdale – which is intended to contain about 550 homes – went before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) earlier this month.

The tribunal delivered its decision on January 19, tossing the matter back to the City of Greater Geelong.

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Mr. Zammit's proposed alterations, which would have impacted a small part of the Central Rd precinct at 140-144 Wyndham Street, aimed to reduce the number of lots in the section from a proposed 14 to just three, between 2514-3036sq meter each.

Geelong council rejected Mr. Zammit's attempt in August 2023 arguing it failed "to conform with the purpose, objectives and requirements of the development plan" and represented a "departure" from the previously endorsed plan more in line with rural zoning than residential.

The Central Rd development precinct was rezoned to residential in July 2021.

The area is bordered by Jetty Rd to the west, Wyndham St to the south, Thomas St and existing residential development to the north and east.

The city found Mr. Zammit's amendment didn't "include sufficient information" to meet requirements.

Mr. Zammit argued the changes were "insignificant", as the edited development plan was only a small portion of the overall endorsed plan.

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He also told VCAT he "did not provide the relevant material ... because he considers it unnecessary" and that "further information will be submitted in due course".

VCAT members Jane Tait and Donna D'Alessandro found during the hearing that several "fundamental issues" arose in response to City Hall's submission.

Ultimately they set aside the city's decision and sent the matter back for reconsideration, to allow both parties to gather information.

"We are of the view that this request to amend the development plan has many shortcomings and the applicant has sought to bring this matter before the Tribunal to solve the problems it should have resolved before it came before us," the members wrote.

City Hall opposed the move, stating it would "refuse a similar layout if resubmitted for consideration".

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