Coastal amendment goes on show

THE final stage of Wellington Shire Council’s plan for the Ninety Mile Beach has begun with the exhibition of the proposed amendment C71 to the Wellington Planning Scheme.

C71 seeks to permanently put in place the current interim planning controls, effective since June 30, 2011, preventing future development along the stretch of coastline.

The amendment recognises that the land along the Ninety Mile Beach is unable to support urban residential development and proposes that the stretch between Firefly Rd at Golden Beach and Vegas Way at Glomar Beach be permanently changed as a rural conservation zone.

Wellington Shire Council development general manager Paul Holton said council was looking forward to beginning work with Parks Victoria to make sure that environmentally sensitive stretch of coastline was correctly managed in conjunction with the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, allowing it to regenerate.

“Planning scheme amendment C71 will not allow the land to be developed by any existing landowners, by council or by anyone else, with very limited exceptions on larger lots in Glomar Beach. It ensures the future of the Ninety Mile Beach as one of our greatest natural assets for the generations to come,” Mr Holton said.

The Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme is well under way, already providing closure for hundreds of Ninety Mile Beach landowners who waited decades for a resolution surrounding land inappropriately subdivided for urban development 40 years ago.

“I would like to express council’s thanks to those landowners who have taken part in the voluntary assistance scheme. The feedback we have received towards the scheme has, in the whole, been very positive,” Mr Holton said.

“The landowners have been hopeful of a resolution to this situation for too many years. We have found that most appreciate how negative the impact of any type of development along this coastline would be and as a result are both understanding and supportive of council’s intent.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in the Ninety Mile Beach Plan and planning scheme amendment C71 to read the proposed permanent planning controls documents. Feedback is invited and we welcome any submissions which must be made in writing before May 21 this year.

“As far as the voluntary assistance scheme goes, we have been very clear from the beginning that assistance payments are only available for as long as our funding allows.

“Right now we are in a position to still accept expressions of interest from landowners in relation to assistance payments in exchange for titles of land along the stretch of coastline in question, between the settlement areas at Golden Beach and Glomar Beach.

“So if you, or someone you know, owns land in this area and has not yet taken up the assistance payment offer, please telephone council to discuss the available options.

“We have received some really positive feedback from the landowners we have spoken to and met over the past few months since the commencement of the Ninety Mile Beach Plan. It’s good to know that we’re on the same page.”

Planning scheme amendment C71 will be on public exhibition until May 21 and submissions are invited in writing by no later than that closing date.

Copies of the amendment and all supporting documentation have been available during business hours at Wellington Shire Council’s offices in Sale and Yarram and for download on the Department of Planning and Community Development website,

Anyone who may be affected by the amendment is able to make a submission to the Wellington Shire Council. The closing date for submissions is strictly May 21. Submissions can be sent to Project Manager, Wellington Coast Subdivision Strategy, Wellington Shire Council, PO Box 506, Sale 3850.