THE Coronet Bay community received its first official insight into plans for a $42 million, 172-room resort last week when planners met with residents at the town hall.
The resort is expected to create hundreds of jobs both directly through its construction and ongoing operations, as well as indirectly through tourism.
Last Monday, architects and planners behind the proposal were met with general approval by residents. According to plans, the resort will be situated off Norsemens Road, near the beach.
However, residents are concerned over the expected increase in traffic, with that same “small” road likely to be the main thoroughfare to the resort.
Urban Planner Maugan Bastone of Urbis Planning and Design was part of the team answering questions on behalf of the developer at the Coronet Bay community hall.
“Our independent traffic report carried out by Traffix Group has outlined that there will be a reasonable use of Norsemens Road,” said Mr Bastone.
According to the Traffix Group document, Norsemens Road when recorded in August 2016 had 25 incoming and 22 outgoing vehicles during peak hour; with a total of 172 incoming and 173 outgoing per day.
They estimate that if the development was completed the hotel would receive 92 incoming, 89 outgoing vehicles during peak hour, a total of 623 incoming and 628 outgoing per day.
Bass Coast shire’s general manager of advocacy, economy and liveability, Allison Jones, said the planning permit is on referral to external authorities.
Ms Jones also said the traffic use of Norsemens Road is being considered.
“As part of the development, the council required the applicant to prepare a traffic impact assessment. This document is currently being reviewed,” said Ms Jones.
Urbis consultant Jessica Denison that the development would use local trades people for construction.
“The resort will employ 173 direct jobs within the hotel facility and 138 indirect jobs,” Ms Denison of the resort, once completed.
To accommodate the guests the hotel is set to have 367 car park spaces and two large restaurants. One restaurant’s expected to hold 300 patrons and a second multi-function centre will hold 500. Aiming to develop tourism in the area, the project is connected to Asian travel groups, particularly ‘in and out’ bus tourists that visit the Penguin Parade.
“There are buses that leave Melbourne, go to the penguin parade and return in one day,” said Mr Bastone.
“The idea is that we can provide a facility that the tourist market is kept within this region for a number of days.”
Roland Pick, communications executive for the Phillip Island Nature Parks, recalls a fluctuating but consistent amount of bus travellers visiting the penguins.
“Most nights there are at least 20 buses, and over busy periods like Chinese New Year up to 100 buses,” said Mr Pick.
Mr Bastone said the development would aim to integrate visitors with the many other local tourism opportunities.
Nearby, the proposed site connects to a significant Indigenous area at Settlement Point, with Aboriginal middens and Indigenous context.
According to plans, education around these sites would be included within boardwalk education guide signs.
“Community and visitor education space and programs, with open space including man made ponds and walkways will be part of the project.”
Mr Bastone said Indigenous knowledge would be gathered from Bunurong elders.
The site which would be the biggest of its kind for the Bass Coast and South Gippsland area is set to resemble the Torquay RACV resort.
Developer’s plans also outline a focus on environmental sustainability and integration with the natural landscape.