Council will consider an application for a “glamping” camping and caravan park development at Charlies Road, Elevated Plains.

The site is adjacent to Wombat State Forest to the north and the east. Land to the west and south of the site is used for agricultural purposes. A northern section of the site is within an area of cultural heritage sensitivity.

Council refused a similar application in 2020 and their decision was later upheld by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (VCAT).

The basis for the decisions by Council and subsequently by VCAT related to bushfire risk and a bushfire management plan that did not adequately respond to this issue. The tribunal found that other aspects of the application were generally compatible with the zoning of the land.

The developer, Clifftop at Hepburn, has resubmitted the application with a new draft Bushfire Emergency Management Plan. The CFA did not object to the new application subject to conditions including a Bushfire Management Plan to be submitted and endorsed by the Responsible Authority.

According to a paper presented to Council by officers of the Shire, all concerns raised by VCAT have been addressed in this application.

A total of 24 objections to the application have been received, raising concerns including risk to life, conflict with farming uses, inappropriate use of Charlies road and amenity impacts.

Objectors to the earlier application have admitted that they incurred expenses in the tens of thousands of dollars fighting the application in VCAT.

Council officers have recommended that the permit be granted for the proposed development subject to conditions including vehicle access, carparking, bushfire risk management, sediment and wastewater control.

Council will consider the application at its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 17.