Big investment in East Gippsland

It’s no secret that regional areas have experienced a boom as city dwellers move to regional Victoria for a lifestyle change.

The East Gippsland region is continuing to receive strong interest from the investment, commercial and residential sectors.

In the past six months, almost $100 million worth of property development has been approved.

Mayor Cr Mark Reeves said confidence in East Gippsland is strong.

“Major commercial and tourism developments approved in the last six to nine months include Metung Hot Springs, the Sailors Grave brewery restaurant at Cape Conran, Tambo Honey in Bruthen and The Servo in Lakes Entrance,” Cr Reeves said.

Planning approval has also recently been given for major investments such as an apartment complex at 4-6 Devon Road, Paynesville ($14 million); industrial land development on Forge Creek Road, Bairnsdale ($10 million); and a residential village at 75 Paynesville Road, Paynesville ($65 million).

More than 450 residential lots have been approved in subdivisions in the past six months.

Proposals are also underway for major residential apartment and accommodation developments in Bairnsdale that show strong investor confidence in the accommodation market.

“In May, Council had the biggest month of Planning Permit application lodgements on record, with 99 applications. The number of planning applications we are receiving is at unparalleled levels – we’ve been getting 60 or more applications a month for the past six months, peaking at approximately 100 applications in May. In the years before the 2019-20 bushfires we’d receive about 500 applications a year, so we are well above those levels,” Cr Reeves said.

“There doesn’t appear to be a slow down on the horizon, although we are conscious there may be an impact from interest rates and inflation in coming months,” Cr Reeves said.

For the past 12 months, Council’s planning team has been issuing more than 150 planning permits each quarter. There have also been about 150 rebuilding projects through the planning process from the bushfires.

“The vast majority of applications are approved. Council and the planning team work hard to balance development with the valid concerns from residents about what is happening in their neighbourhood,” Cr Reeves said.

“For instance, the planning permit application for the residential village in Paynesville was amended to address the concerns of objectors, including providing additional amenity areas and adjusting where the double storey homes will be built. Working together to address concerns results in a good outcome for both developers and the community.”

In terms of value, Council is approving between $15 to $18 million in developments each month.

“The volume of work is certainly challenging for our planning team, but they are keeping up with the workload. Most regional councils are under similar pressure from an influx of people looking to move to the country.

“It is a good sign for the future prosperity of East Gippsland that people want to invest here, build here, live here,” Cr Reeves said.

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