Welcome to the OGCA!
The Ocean Grove Community Association provides a forum for residents and rate payers to work together to improve life in Ocean Grove for all.
Members of the Association are interested in a wide range of topics including the urban development of Ocean Grove, transport and traffic issues, and environmental concerns. When necessary, OGCA represents the community in discussions with Federal, State and Municipal Governments. OGCA encourages, fosters and, sometimes, coordinates community activities within Ocean Grove and the district.
The AGM and Community Forum went well and over 60 people came to the event. The Community Forum commenced at 7.30pm and completed at 8.45pm. it included two guest speakers:
- James Hamilton (COGG – Strategic Planning Officer)
- Jason Corless (Director – Kingston Estate)
Ocean Grove Structure Plan Review
The Ocean Grove Community Association (OGCA) has assessed the Council’s Ocean Grove Structure Plan Review documents and based on this, together with our involvement with the original Structure Plan 2007, have provided this response.
In principal the original Structure Plan was reflective of the community’s input and Council research. So we do not believe that there are any fundamental changes that need to be included in the Structure Plan review. However, we do provide the following comments.
Population – The original Structure Plan (2007) estimated a population growth of 4.0%pa. The actual growth between 2006 – 2011 was 2.21pa%. However, with the commencement of the Oakdene Estate subdivision and the recent increase in the Kingston Estate expansion we understand that approximately 250 houses are now being built each year. Based on 2.5 people per house this equates to 625 people per year. In percentage terms this is 4.4% growth per annum. Hence we believe that the original 4.0%pa stated is more accurate. Maybe this could be reviewed after the 2016 census.
Capacity – The original Structure Plan was based on a projected total long term permanent population of between 25,000 to 30,000. This does not include the holiday makers/visitors which increases Ocean Groves population by a further 10,000 people over the peak summer holiday period and now an increasing number (1,000 to 4,000 people) over other holiday periods and weekends. This does not include day visitors. Hence, when the figure of 25,000 to 30,000 population is stated it is in fact will be 35,000 to 40,000 people over the peak summer holiday period and up to 34,000 people on other times. Therefore, we believe the maximum permanent population for Ocean Grove should be 30,000 people and that this should be stated and planned for in the Structure Plan Review.
Armstrong Creek – Since 2007 Armstrong Creek has commenced subdivision and will eventually be home to over 70,000 people. This will have a major impact on coastal towns such as Ocean Grove. Particularly on weekends, school holidays and to a lesser extent in evenings, as people from Armstrong Creek take day trips to go to the beach, have meals, shop and travel through Ocean Grove to access other Bellarine Peninsula destinations and the Queenscliff Ferry. The Ocean Grove Structure Plan Review should now incorporate this new impact and make recommendations on how Ocean Grove will meet these new Armstrong Creek demands on Ocean Grove including, public transport, bicycle paths, traffic, car-parking, commercial development and general tourist attractions.
- Green Space – The original Ocean Grove Structure Plan and the Review provides for long term projected growth areas. Whilst this is generally accepted to being to the north, we believe that a ‘green strip’ of land should be provided from the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve up to the Rhinds Road. This will include the Nature Reserve, farmland (paddocks), Barwon Water land and Oakdene Winery. This green strip of land should not be subdivided or commercially developed, but could provide a link point between Grubb Road and the west side of the green strip (Refer attached plan). Our objective is that eventually part of this green strip could be for the development of a type of botanical garden area, with local plantings, recognition of our indigenous people and a learning area. This could become a major tourist and educational asset.
- Primary Industry – There could be more stated in the Review about encouraging the development of local produce and primary industries around Ocean Grove. For example this could include cheese making, wineries, cafes, local produce stores (not necessarily in a designated commercial zone) and craft making.
- Roads/Paths/Trails – We believe greater emphasis needs to be given to creating footpath and bicycle trails in and around Ocean Grove. That provide linkages to strategic points within Ocean Grove and linkages to other towns. This should be highlighted in the Review. In addition to assist in diverting ‘though traffic’ (i.e. people travelling through Ocean Grove to reach their destination) that the continuation of the Geelong Ring Road to the Bellarine Highway and Portarlington Road is a must. This Review should support this proposal.
- Primary School – The Review needs to make it quite clear that a fourth primarily school will be required in Ocean Grove when the population reaches a certain size. It also needs to advise that the Ocean Grove campus of the Bellarine Secondary College needs to plan for future growth and how that is to occur.
- Cultural Centre – For a population of 30,000 people Ocean Grove will require a cultural centre (in previous years this would have been called a “Town Hall”). Such a facility is needed for forums, socialising, education, entertainment and the arts (and for all ages). It will complement and feed into the Potato Shed, which is the Bellarine Peninsula’s prime cultural centre. But, the Potato Shed will not meet the needs of the entire Bellarine Peninsula as it reaches a total population of over 100,000 people. Nor will it suit small and local Ocean Grove activities.
- Priorities – We believe that the Review needs to somehow place a priority against key infrastructure (e.g. Grubb Road duplication, fourth primary school, connecting Tuckfield Street with The Terrace, Cultural Centre etc.) This could be simply creating three categories, short term, medium term and long term. The terms could be based on either years. (e.g. 1 to 5 years, 6 to 10 years and 11 to 15 years or population growth 15,000 to 20,000, 21,000 to 25,000 and 26,000 to 30,000). Such a priority system will greatly assist Local, State and Commonwealth Governments to plan for and fund such projects and the Community to understand when infrastructure is to occur.
The OGCA would be happy to meet with you to discuss our comments or any other matters that may have arisen as part of the Structure Plan Review process.
Ocean Grove Community Association Inc.
29 June 2015