THE South Gippsland Conservation Society (SGCS) has appealed to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to overturn approval of a four-storey hotel on the Inverloch foreshore.
The Lido serviced apartment building is proposed by the Forte Group on the site of the old boat sale yard next to the Glade and Inverloch Sound Shell. Bass Coast Shire Council approved the development in June despite 60 objections
While the council has the power to approve buildings higher than the maximum height in the planning scheme, SGCS believes the hotel is a massive overdevelopment of the site and inappropriate for such a special location in the heart of Inverloch.
SGCS president Ed Thexton said the development would tower over the Glade and the foreshore as the site is already elevated. It also sets a terrible precedent for future planning decisions for even taller buildings in Inverloch.
“We are concerned that the proposal seems likely to close off the opportunity for realisation of a number of council, Victorian Government and community initiatives in Inverloch,” he said.
These include the future cultural centre proposed in the council’s Dinosaurs Trail Masterplan, the Victorian Government’s plans for an Inverloch trail-head for the Yallock-Bulluk Marine and Coastal Park, community and council aspirations for an Inverloch Maritime Museum to celebrate the Amazon shipwreck and other Bass Coast maritime history, as well as incorporation of a redeveloped Bunurong Environment Centre (the home of SGCS).
Mr Thexton notes the developer is represented by legal counsel and will be calling expert witnesses to try to persuade VCAT the proposed development is appropriate and will be a net benefit to the community.
“Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time and money to have a decent chance of winning cases against wealthy developers.”
The conservation society is now seeking donations to help with the VCAT appeal, If you would like to help please email email@example.com. You can also donate at www.sgcs.org.au/donate.php. Please indicate the donation is for the VCAT hearing.
The hearing is scheduled to begin on January 30, 2023 and will be held virtually, although the VCAT member is expected to visit the site.
Jonathan Upson is a committee member of the South Gippsland Conservation Society.
June 30, 2022 - A new development is planned for Inverloch’s gathering place. Ed Thexton reckons it’s like having an elephant in your lounge room.