DEVELOPERS have resubmitted plans for a restaurant and children’s farm at the fringe of Barwon Heads, promoting the new site as a low-impact tourism opportunity for the region.
The City of Greater Geelong is considering a proposal for the new attraction, which would include a restaurant, the farm and a garden, a function centre and bed and breakfast.
Proponents had previously advertised similar plans in August 2020, including scaled-down plans following community objections to land use near a Ramsar-listed wetlands site.
Newly advertised plans include a Cultural Heritage Management Plan dated April this year alongside a host of other documents form the 2020 application.
The proposed development is at 65-105 Lings Road, Connewarre, opposite 13th Beach Golf Links properties and where the southern end of the road meets Murtnaghurt Lagoon.
Planning documents indicate the facility would accommodate up to 80 people for breakfast and lunch at the restaurant, with a neighbouring children’s farm and other activities to keep younger patrons entertained.
Landscape architects Tract, submitting designs on behalf of the applicant, said its plan would deliver an “integrated, low-scale tourism offering” for the area.
“The proposed low-scale tourism operation that incorporates and preserves agricultural land use is entirely consistent with both planning policy and strategic direction for the site,” the report stated.
“This will provide for tourism opportunities in line with regional competitive strengths, while also diligently responding to the significant environmental values that constrain the site.”
Planners said their proposal would primarily convert existing buildings for new uses to deliver its idea.
The site presently includes a machinery shed, shearing shed and house, which plans would incorporate into landscaping and farm activities to create the new centre.
Revised plans fist submitted in June 2020 removed a “major new building” in the middle of the property and reduced the restaurant from 180 patrons to 80, with hours cut from 7am-10pm down to a 4pm finish.
The function centre is also proposed to operate at reduced hours – the original 11am-midnight proposal is down to 6pm to midnight – but would be bumped up to 200 patrons from 110.
A second car park and drainage infrastructure was also removed in the watered-down plans.
Tract has also provided assessments for impacts on biodiversity, environmental noise, storm water management and traffic as part of its application, alongside the new CHMP.