A clear view on the Bells Beach hinterland

Surf Coast Shire Council is seeking to strengthen the planning scheme controls around Bells Beach in a bid to respect and protect the iconic location and its hinterland.

At its April meeting, Council considered a report that reviewed the local policy, zoning and overlays that apply to the Bells Beach hinterland. Council resolved to seek authorisation from the Minister for Planning to proceed with planning scheme amendment C121.

A recommendation of the Bells Beach Task Force, the amendment provides clearer planning controls that will ensure the use and development of the Bells Beach hinterland better respects the environmental, cultural and scenic values of the area.

Surf Coast Shire Council Mayor Brian McKiterick said the amendment demonstrates Council’s commitment to preserve the world-class location.

“The Bells Beach Surfing Recreation Reserve Coastal Management Plan has two guiding principles – to respect and protect the natural environment,” Cr McKiterick said.

“The plan was developed with significant community and stakeholder consultation in 2014. Their feedback told us how much they value the rural hinterland around Bells Beach.

“The open and undeveloped backdrop to the reserve is what makes it such a breathtaking location, so it’s crucial we have improved planning controls in place to protect it.”

The Bells Beach hinterland is land bounded by Bones, Addiscott, Jarosite and Bells Beach roads, and includes the approach to the world-famous break from Bells Boulevard.

If the Minister for Planning authorises the amendment, it will be on public exhibition for one month. It will be able to be viewed at Council office (1 Merrijig Drive, Torquay) or online at www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au  and www.delwp.vic.gov.au/public-inspection.  Anyone wishing to write a submission to the amendment will have an opportunity to do so during that time.