The Save Barwon Heads Alliance Inc (SBHA) was formed in July 2007 with the sole purpose of advocating for retention of the ‘green break’ to the west of the Barwon Heads town.
The SBHA successfully campaigned on behalf of the community who believed in the value of retaining the town boundary at a time when there was considerable pressure to have it extended.
The Barwon Heads Structure Plan was finalized in 2010 with the town boundary retained in its present position and the ‘green break’ was preserved.
The structure plan, and therefore the town boundary, are now being reviewed by the City of Greater Geelong (COGG).
Whether the present town boundary remains in place is one of many important matters that will be considered during the review.
The SBHA was formed in July 2007 in response to a proposal to expand the current Barwon Heads town boundary. The town boundary was identified as an important issue during the consultation process to develop the Barwon Heads Structure Plan.
In 2010, SBHA presented to the Planning Panel Victoria with the assistance of legal representation. This followed over 1000 submissions to the COGG in support of retaining the town boundary.
2016 Review of the Barwon Heads Structure Plan
A review of the 2010 Structure Plan is currently being undertaken by the COGG. This is part of their strategic policy program to engage the community on the current status of the plan, future provision of services, infrastructure and facilities to the township. The review will also consider whether the current settlement boundary (town boundary) should be extended to provide for residential growth, or growth should remain focused on housing infill within established areas.
What has changed for Barwon Heads since 2010?
Barwon Heads is a low growth coastal town that is situated between two major growth areas.
The major growth corridor of Armstrongs Creek has been established.
On the western edge of this growth corridor, Warralilly’s residential development is progressing and there is a retail complex being constructed on
the Barwon Heads Road. This is within a 10 minute drive west of Barwon Heads. Ocean Grove is the second growth corridor; it is just to the east of Barwon Heads and is designated as a high growth area.
So this is what we are up against
Here is the Engagement Report form the City of greater Geelong planners to the Shape the Place Workshop, 26/10 /2016.
It shows the need for the community to become very engaged with the planning process.
Please see extract below – pages 21-23.
Barwon Heads Structure Plan Submissions – Specific
Potential to rezone Stage C of the 13th Beach Resort
Land contained with Stage C of 13th Beach resort to remain within the Comprehensive
• Council’s proposal to rezone the site to Farming Zone will jeopardise the strategic
vision for the site, including the intention to construct a wellness centre and childcare
centre to complement the overall resort.
• The application of the farming zone is inappropriate and highly restrictive.
• A golf course resort is not deemed a “farm related tourism” activity. It uses the whole
of the land for non-agricultural uses.
• It is not an evidence-based proposal and there is no background study that states
additional agricultural land is in demand at Barwon Heads. Stage C does not constitute
“productive agricultural land” .
• The location of the Resort within a rural area, which is not a farming zone is an explicit
feature of tourism in the municipality.
• Stage C should not become a “buffer zone” as a consequence of expanding the
township boundary closer to the RAMSAR site.
• A Structure Plan “update” should not incorporate a rezoning proposal.
Seek to rezone 122 – 138 Taits Road for residential development
• There are problems maintaining the land as rural adjacent to 26 neighbours, including
trespassing, rubbish being dumped, cattle fences being cut, fire risk and the risk of
large branches falling from their trees.
• Maintaining the problems is time consuming and expensive.
• Seek to rezone the property from Farming Zone to for future residential or residential.
• It would seem the last rezoning to the eastern boundary was an interim step.
• The wetlands would not be impacted at all.
• Given community concerns it would make sense to phase the rezoning over time.
• Options for a future review must be kept open.
• Preference is to rezone from Farming Zone to residential.
• Other less preferred options would be to rezone as Low Density Residential, Rural
Living (1ha minimum), or as Special Use similar to Yellow Gums in Ocean Grove or
Warrenbeen in Barwon Heads.
• There is noting sustainable about a 19 or 30-hectare property.
• It is selfish for the community to take a ‘get in the loft and pull up the ladder’ [restrict
any development] approach.
• In terms of overburdening services there are several large shopping centres within 15
minutes of Barwon Heads with regular bus services.
Seek to include the land at 1900-1920 Geelong Road within the
Settlement Boundary to allow for residential development
• The subject land is well suited for well-designed, sustainable residential development.
• Will enable the delivery of increased community infrastructure and landscaping,
including sporting ovals and pedestrian connections.
• Preservation of the natural environment will be a key design outcome.
• The proposed scale of 250-300 dwellings (staged delivery) will not significantly impact
on the character and amenity of Barwon Heads.
• To increase housing options and land supply that will provide an injection of improved
design, jobs and investments.
• C159 and the Panel believe that limited development is feasible if it provided a net
environmental benefit for the Murtnaghurt Lagoon and channel.
• The overarching policy objectives and policy for coastal settlements and the Bellarine
do not specifically discourage future development of Barwon Heads.
Seek a change to settlement boundary to allow residential
• The rural landscape from the Barwon Heads settlement boundary west to the
watercourse, which runs from Lake Connewarre to Murtnaghurt Swamp, does not
have any significant features that require it to be protected.
• This rural land is being preserved unfairly as an unequivocal buffer.
• The soil as a resource does not present itself as a resource worth protecting.
• The demand for housing in Barwon Heads is so strong and the supply is so weak
there must be an expansion of the settlement boundary.
• Every single town in Victoria has a role to play in satisfying Victoria’s growth.
• A development could successfully be delivered by using water sensitive design
techniques and other water quality measures.
Potential planning controls within Warrenbeen Court
• Object to an Environmental Significance Overlay, as this would be very detrimental to
the value of the property.
• Significant vegetation in other areas should also be afforded protection, e.g. Saratoga,
Carr Street, and Stephens Parade.
• There is now a perverse reward for landowners who have not retained natural
vegetation on their property, or who clear their land prior to formal controls being
• If additional controls are created how would this function in the period between now
and Dec 2020 when the covenant expires?
Needs assessment for a Community Arts Hub
• Have been undertaking a CoGG funded Feasibility Study to determine the viability of a
Community Arts Hub for Barwon Heads.
• Stage 1 of the Study (July 2016) concluded there is sufficient community need and
Stage 2 will now be undertaken to look at potential sites and prepare a business plan.
• The final report will be available in February 2017.
65 – 105 Lings Road, Connewarre
The land is surrounded by the Comprehensive Development Zone (CDZ1) and abuts the
Lake Connewarre State Game Reserve and Murtnaghurt Lagoon to the south.
The Barwon Heads Structure Plan review provides an opportunity to recognise the tourism
potential of the land, linked to a broader regional tourism setting – recognising the
proposed Clause 22.06 tourism, Accommodation and Function Centre Development in