By Justin Flynn
Ocean Grove Community Association (OGCA) is concerned that some developers and land owners are seeking to change the town’s settlement boundary.
The association said “enough is enough” and supports City of Greater Geelong’s amendment C395 that the boundary remains unchanged.
“This amendment is currently the subject of an independent panel hearing,” OGCA chairperson Phil Edwards said.
“Right now and through to mid-February 2020 developers and some landowners are making submissions to the independent panel to change the town settlement boundary to allow even more housing development.
“Developers want the land to the west of Grubb Road, the land east of Banks Road and the strip of land to the north between the current Oakdene housing development and the Bellarine Highway to be included in the Ocean Grove town settlement boundary.
“We are not the only town settlement boundary under pressure.
“Some of the other towns on the Bellarine are in the same boat with developers seeking still more land on the Bellarine.”
Mr Edwards said OGCA believes that Ocean Grove should not be subject to any further population growth or urban sprawl and believes most people don’t want any further housing development.
“Council have said that the Bellarine has had a disproportionate share of the region’s population inflow over the past few years,” he said.
“Ocean Grove has already done the bulk of heavy-lifting on accommodating growth. Council have specifically designated the areas west and north of Geelong as preferred development areas.
“This negates the need for any more broad-acre residential land in Ocean Grove beyond that which is already approved and in progress in Ocean Grove within the existing Ocean Grove settlement boundary.
“Our facilities and roads are already at capacity and can’t handle more people – just look at the Bellarine Aquatic and Sports Centre as an example.
“The green spaces and agricultural land around Ocean Grove need to be retained both to protect nature and our town’s rural character.
“Most people choose to live in Ocean Grove for the quiet, low-density town and the coastal and natural environment and this will be further undermined through over-development.”
Mr Edwards said residents can make their voices heard if they agreed with OGCA’s stance.
“There are four ways you can make their concerns heard and make a difference and we would hope people will do all four,” he said.
“First, people can enter their name on the online petition on at chng.it/44MPprTqrJ and encourage your friends to sign.
“Second, you can email your state MP Lisa Neville (email@example.com) and tell her ‘enough is enough and you don’t want the Ocean Grove town settlement boundary changed to allow more development and you strongly support the Council’s position in amendment C395’.
“Third, keep the Geelong Council and Councillors strong in their stance by emailing our mayor Stephanie Asher and Bellarine councillors Jim Mason and Trent Sullivan.
“Finally, spread the word and share your concerns with your friends on social media or over coffee.”