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We congratulate the new Mayor Peter Murrihy on his recent appointment. We understand that the CEO Martin Cutter has announced his resignation. CoGG is so big. Is it time for more detailed discussion on a Bellarine Council?

We also encourage you to look at the “have your say” project:

‘Understanding Storm Water in our region’


Planning Application

We are constantly watching planning applications, and most are ok, comply with the guidelines and go through to the keeper. Some however, especially those in areas with heritage overlays and proposing large scale buildings in strategic locations cause us to interrogate further and understand the long-term impacts and precedents for future developments.

We are surprised and concerned about the scale and impact of the proposed development  of the iconic Barwon Heads site at 2-4 Stephens Pde.

These sites are  bounded by Stephens Parade to the south and Golf Links Road along its shorter frontage to the east. Abutting the north of the site is Barwon Heads Golf Club and the 7th hole of the Barwon Heads golf course, to the east over the road are the 4th and 5th holes of the golf course with views over the first 6 holes. There is crown land to the south of the site which has dense native vegetation. The properties are located within a broader Heritage Overlay area the Golf Links Heritage Area, identified as HO1650 in the Schedule to the Heritage Overlay of the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme.

The BHA objection is attached at the end of this newsletter – and you can object until Council makes a decision. It was removed from the Council website on the 7th.

Permit Number PP1587/2021 2-4 Stephens Pde. If you are concerned you should object.


The 2021 Census 

Barwon Heads has been added to Armstrong Creek for the statistics published in newspapers etc. If you are interested the link is

When you open this page, go to the Search by area name Box and put the 3227 postcode in
the Enter a location, postcode or geography code box. This will provide you
with a summary for the 3227 postcode which includes 13th Beach and Breamlea
and the area north of the Barwon Heads road, between Barwon Heads and the Mt
Duneed Road roundabout, to Lake Connewarre. Over the next few days we will
check to see if we can extract the data for Barwon Heads so it is more accurate for our coastal town.

Membership Renewal

The Barwon Heads Association (BHA) wishes to thank our members for their wonderful support over the last 12 months and looks forward to your continuing support and participation.  Thank you to those of you who have renewed their membership.

We have developed a new website which we encourage you to use to renew your membership.

We need your continued support to help our community and ensure Barwon Heads remains an attractive area to live in a landscape full of natural character and coastal beauty.

During the past year the BHA has also been represented in a broad range of community activities including:

  • Participating in the lengthy process of the development of the Bellarine Distinctive Area and Landscape Draft Report, followed by a 6-week hearing by an Advisory Planning Committee appointed by the Planning Minister.
  • Representing the community with the Village Park Master Plan
  • Convening the Transport and Parking sub-committee (with reps from Regional Roads, CoGG, and locals);
  • Partnering with Ocean Grove Rotary to reenergize the Duck Race.
  • Liaising with CoGG on new tree planting.
  • Working behind the scenes to support the development and opening of the new Arts & Community Hub.
  • Participating in the Combined Bellarine Community Association.
  • Participating in the Bellarine Community Safety Group.
  • Monitoring planning applications in Barwon Heads.
  • Ongoing liaison with Bellarine Councilors, Barwon Water, Barwon Coast and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.

Next BHA General Meeting 

Monday 29th August, at the Senior Citizens from 7.00pm

Richard Weatherly OAM will be speaking to his submission to the Bellarine DAL on the birds in the area and the importance of corridors and the dangers of fragmentation and corridor destruction.

BHA Objection 2-4 Stephens PDE  



APPLICATION:               PP1587/2021

Coastal Planning acts for the Barwon Heads Association Incorporated.

Our clients object to the Planning Application seeking development of one dwelling (the proposal) for the reasons outlined below.

Relevant planning scheme provisions

The emphasis on the need for a proposal to respond to neighbourhood character is a corner stone of the City of Greater Geelong Planning Scheme (the Scheme), established at the State level at clause 15.05-5S of the Scheme which includes the following objective ‘To recognise, support and protect neighbourhood character, cultural identify, and sense of place.’ 

In addition to neighbourhood character, heritage conservation is an emphasis of this site and surrounding properties established at the State level at clause 15.03-1S of the Scheme which includes the following purpose ‘To ensure that development does not adversely affect the significance of heritage places and to conserve and enhance those elements which contribute to the significance of heritage places.’

The neighbourhood character and heritage values of the subject site/s and area is of particular importance, evident through both the VPP’s and the overlays which affect it, and it is considered that this proposal fails to respond to this existing and preferred character.  The following is submitted:

  1. Clause 43.01 Heritage Overlay seeks to ensure that development does not adversely affect the significance of heritage places. It is our position the proposed development challenges the significance of the heritage place being the Golf Club and adjoining Heritage Overlay areas.
  2. Clause 43.01-8 Decision Guidelines direct that the responsible authority must consider:
  • Whether the location, bulk, form or appearance of the proposed building will adversely affect the significance of the heritage place.
  • Whether the location, bulk, form and appearance of the proposed building is in keeping with the character and appearance of adjacent buildings of heritage place.
  • Whether the demolition, removal and external alteration will adversely affect the significance of the heritage place.
  • Whether the proposed works will adversely affect the significance, character or appearance of the heritage place.

The proposed development massing and bulk fails to respond to the decision guidelines.

  1. Clause 22.37 Heritage Overlay (HO1650) Golf Links Heritage Area objectives seek to:
    • To retain and enhance the open, undulating, links course design, with its rolling greens and sandy hillocks; manicured greens and fairways covered in native and exotic grasses including couch grass; and the bunkers;
    • Existing and intact culturally significant places should not be demolished;
    • To retain and enhance the intact examples of interwar Bungalow style, single and double storey detached dwellings;
    • To retain and scope of setbacks, building separation and subdivision, and single and double storey heights throughout the Heritage Overlay area.
    • To ensure new development in Stephens Parade as viewed from the north side of the Stephens Parades properties is visually connected to the significant adjacent Barwon Heads golf course land.
    • To encourage contemporary interpretation of traditional building design within the Heritage Overlay Area, which includes detached buildings, hipped and/or gabled roofs, verandahs, and minimal timber detailing;
    • To encourage the use of traditional construction materials which includes horizonal timber weatherboard wall cladding, timber framed windows, brick chimneys and unpainted, non-zincalume (non-highly reflective zincalume) corrugated sheet metal roofing;

The proposal fails to response to the Golf Links Heritage Area objectives.

  1. Clause 21.14-2 The Bellarine Peninsula objectives seek ‘To preserve the individual character, identity and role of each Bellarine township’. In particular, in Barwon Heads to ‘Protect the unique character of Barwon Heads as a coastal village located within a sensitive environment and significant landscape setting.’ And ‘Ensure that new development complies with specified coastal character siting and design requirements.’

The proposal fails to respond to the character aspects of the coastal village.


The existing site includes one (1) dwelling on no. 2 and one (1) dwelling on no. 4.  The existing dwelling on no. 2 reads as two (2) dwellings by virtue of the articulation and change in built form through the roof line and facades.  Currently, the entire site including no. 2 and no. 4 can be read as three (3) forms.  The articulation is varied over the entire site.

The proposed dwelling presents one (1) expansive long built form with no articulation.  The entire site is covered with a single elongated building that offers no meaningful response coastal and heritage character.  The proposed dwelling appears to be approximately~60m long and this characteristic is not reflective the existing nor emerging neighbourhood character.

Barwon Heads, in particular the Stephens Parade aspect, does not include any dwellings of this scale.  The site has uninterrupted visual connection with the Barwon Heads Golf Club (VHR H2258) and the Barwon Heads Golf Clubhouse and Golf Course to the north and north-east and 13 beach to the east.

The Barwon Heads Golf Club is of historical and architectural significance to the state of Victoria.  It is also noted 8 Stephens Parade, Barwon Heads is Heritage listed and is of regional significance.  The proposed design response is not in keeping with the character and appearance of adjacent buildings of heritage place.

This site is incredibly visually sensitive within the public realm and warrants a design response that is sympathetic to the character of the area.


For the above reasons, it is considered that the proposal does not represent a proper, orderly or acceptable planning outcome and the application should, respectfully, be refused.

We would welcome discussions with the applicant or Council in relation to the proposal.


Yours faithfully

S. Fanning

Coastal Planning