Ninety Mile Beach Plan

The Ninety Mile Beach subdivision is a 25 kilometre strip of ocean foreshore and sand terrain between Bass Strait and Lake Reeve. It was subdivided into about 11,800 small urban sized lots from 1955 to 1969. It is in an area from Paradise Beach in the north east to The Honeysuckles in the south west.

The land was first subdivided without planning controls. The developer only provided a main sealed road along the coast (Shoreline Drive) and very little of the promised facilities or services were ever built. Only the main settlements of Golden and Paradise Beaches and The Honeysuckles are now serviced with electricity and no reticulated water or sewerage was provided. The lots were sold by development companies using vigorous marketing campaigns to thousands of people and in many cases to new migrants to Australia.

Some dwellings were built without services on the primary sand dunes and on flood prone land. The development along the Ninety Mile Beach became a State Government issue and from the mid 1970’s further development was prevented while they carried out detailed studies.

In 1978 the Shire of Rosedale and the State Government sent letters to landowners to advise that their land was in one of the following categories:

  • Development Land - Suitable for low density housing
  • Beach Dune Land - Unstable soil and not suitable for development
  • Land affected by flooding by Lake Reeve - Unsuitable for development.

From 1979 strict restructure and tenement controls limited or prohibited development.

More recent studies between 2003 and 2008 found that development should be reduced further for environmental reasons including bushfire. See the following documents:

Wellington Coast Subdivision Strategy: The Honeysuckles to Paradise Beach, February 2007 (6MB)
Wellington Coast Subdivision Strategy: Land Capability Assessment, 2008 (3MB)

 

Current Situation

The current situation is different for each category of land within the Ninety Mile Beach area. The categories are:

  • Settlements: Golden Beach/Paradise Beach and The Honeysuckles
  • Between Settlements of Golden Beach and The Honeysuckles including Glomar Beach
  • Flood affected land/Flood prone lots 
  • Beach dune land/Coastal dune lots 

 

See our maps which show the outline of categorised areas and provide other specific details for each vicinity or region:

 

Settlements: Golden Beach/Paradise Beach and The Honeysuckles

Council adopted the preferred settlement pattern of urban nodes in the Wellington Coast Subdivision Strategy in 2005. Settlement boundary plans for Golden Beach/Paradise Beach and The Honeysuckles were included in the Wellington Planning Scheme in June 2011. These plans guide where development is encouraged (subject to permit).

The settlements are zoned Low Density Residential Zone. Development requires a planning permit and must comply with the Wellington Planning Scheme and the restructure and tenement provisions. In some cases a dwelling can be built on 1 lot, in other cases; 4 lots should be in the same ownership before land can be developed.

Planning controls are often complex and difficult to understand so any purchaser or landowner wishing to develop land should contact us to find out the requirements from a Statutory Planner on 1300 366 244.

 

Between Settlements of Golden Beach and The Honeysuckles including Glomar Beach

The 'Between Settlements Area' is from Firefly Road at Golden Beach and along the coast for 10.8 kilometres to just past Glomar Beach at Vegas Way. This area is Restructure Plan Stages 7 to 22 (235KB). You can view each Restructure Plan Stage on the Between Settlements R7, R8, R9, R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R15, R16, R17, R18, R19, R20, R21 and R22 (2MB) document.

From 1978, this was known as a low density housing area, and owners had to consolidate their land into restructure lots, usually 4 lots before they could develop their land. Owners could do this by selling their land or by purchasing more lots and they had 30 years to do this.

Development of single lots has not been permitted since 1979 and the first full moratorium, which is a prohibition of development started in December 2007.

The former 4 lot restructure lots were removed from the Wellington Planning Scheme in June 2011 and the land was rezoned to Rural Conservation Zone by Planning Scheme Amendment C71.

As a consequence development is prohibited on all lots in this area including former restructure lots with some limited exceptions on larger completed restructure lots in Glomar Beach. Existing lawful dwellings have existing use rights.

 

Between Settlements: Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme

The Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme was introduced for vacant land that cannot be developed. Council has a funding agreement with the State Government which started in June 2011 for $6 million. It provides affected landowners with the opportunity to voluntarily transfer their land to Council for a voluntary assistance payment.

The amount offered is based on independent advice from the Victorian Valuer-General and is non-negotiable. For single lots the amount is $1,500 (less outstanding rates and charges) per lot which is three times the Council valuation of a single lot. If owners owe more than $1,500 in rates, they do not receive a payment but their rates debt does not have to be paid.

Owners do not have to transfer their land to Council as the scheme is voluntary and Council is not compulsorily acquiring land from owners who have registered in writing that they are unwilling to transfer their land. However, if owners keep their land it is in the knowledge that the land cannot be developed.

The benefit for landowners is that once the title has been transferred into Council’s name, owners will no longer receive rates notices or other letters from Council and will no longer be responsible for land that cannot be developed.

Land transfers commenced in mid January 2012, and since that time more than 1,440 lots have been transferred to Council voluntarily and a further 430 have been compulsorily acquired by Council. This adds to more than 1,000 lots that were already in Council ownership which is now more than 80% of the vacant lots in the ‘Between Settlements Area’.

Whilst the voluntary assistance scheme was due to close on 30 June 2015, the scheme was extended until 2021 to include other categories of land and to give more time to resolve the Ninety Mile Beach subdivisions. Therefore, transfers of land and payments (where applicable) to landowners continue to be received and processed.

If you are a landowner and you wish to transfer your land, you should contact Council to speak to an officer about the Ninety Mile Beach Plan on 1300 366 244. If it is established that your land is in the affected area, we can send you a Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme Expression of Interest Form 2A and transfer of land paperwork.

If you do not wish to transfer your land and you have not yet registered your decision, you should contact Council on 1300 366 244 and we can send you a Form 2A to fill in and return.

You can also find out more information from the Ninety Mile Beach Plan Frequently Asked Questions Sheet Form 2 (Revised May 2017). (137KB)

 

Between Settlements: Compulsory Acquisition of Land

At its Council meeting on Tuesday 16 August 2016, Council resolved to commence the statutory process to compulsorily acquire vacant land in the ‘between settlements area’ south-west of the township of Golden Beach.

The statutory process commenced in January 2017, with ‘Notices of Intention to Acquire’ placed on land in the areas of Golden, Flamingo and Glomar Beaches and published in the Herald Sun newspaper on 18 January 2017. These notices affect 420 properties where Council has been unable to contact the owner despite an extensive process of engagement, diligent enquiries and detailed searches to locate them since 2011.

In accordance with legislative requirements, in late March 2017 and early April Council replaced those notices with Notices of Acquisition and published Notices in the Government Gazette, the Herald Sun and Gippsland Times. Further acquisitions are being carried out in accordance with legislative requirements and where Council is unable to contact the owner despite an extensive process of engagement, diligent enquiries and detailed searches to locate them.

Now more than 80% of the vacant lots in the ‘Between Settlements Area’ are publicly owned. This acquisition is of benefit to the general community as Council will be able to plan public land management strategies in the future with relevant agencies and government departments.

Council has no plans to compulsorily acquire land from owners who have already registered with us in writing indicating that they do not wish to transfer their land to Council. Council will continue to attempt to engage with owners who appear to have a valid contact address in our records but who have yet to reply to the voluntary assistance scheme.

You can find out more information from the Ninety Mile Beach Plan Between Settlements Compulsory Acquisition of Land Fact Sheet January 2017 (235KB) and the Notice of Intention to Acquire Restructure Stages 7 to 15 (101KB) and Notice of Intention to Acquire Restructure Stages 16 to 22 (94KB).

 

Flood Prone Lots

Flood prone lots are located on 1 of the 2 Lake Reeve Islands, in Paradise Beach north and on areas next to Lake Reeve near Golden Beach and on the edge of The Honeysuckles. Development is not permitted in these areas because of flooding.

The flood lots are located in Restructure Plan Stages R1, R24, R33, R34, R35/36, R37 Sheet 1 and R37 Sheet 2 (1MB).

Landowners can retain their land in the knowledge that it can never be developed. If they wish to transfer their original titles to Council in lieu of outstanding rates and charges, they will be able to do so when a voluntary assistance scheme for flood prone lots commences in 2019.

The future voluntary transfer scheme for the Lake Reeve Islands and other Ninety Mile Beach flood prone lots (of which there are approximately 2,800) will include a voluntary transfer scheme but no payment to landowners for these flood prone lots. However, all outstanding rates and charges will be waived on completion of the transfer and the transfer will be processed at no cost to the landowner.

The voluntary transfer scheme for flood prone lots is not expected to commence until 2019. We will write to affected owners when the scheme is ready to commence to let landowners know how they can participate.

There are about 800 flood prone lots with the postal address of the owner “unknown” and we will not be able to write to these owners. It is therefore important that persons who believe they still own a lot on the Ninety Mile Beach and have not been receiving rate or valuation notices should contact our Rates Office to check the ownership and contact details for their land.

When you contact Council, you should tell us the Rates Assessment Number if you know it, and the lot number, street name and owner name. You can find some or all this information on a rate notice or on the certificate of title or contract of sale.

The benefit for landowners is that once the title has been transferred into Council’s name, owners will no longer receive rates notices or other letters from Council and will no longer be responsible for land that cannot be developed.

There are no dwellings on the Lake Reeve Islands; however, there are a few existing lawful dwellings in the other flood prone areas and these dwellings have existing use rights.

 

Coastal Dune Lots

This land is also known as the coastal dunes or narrow dunes. This land is generally in coastal strips of land between Shoreline Drive and the beach in the ‘Between Settlements Area’ between Golden Beach and The Honeysuckles.

Development is not permitted in these areas because of the fragile coastal dune system.

The coastal dune lots are located in Restructure Plan Stages R25/26, R27/28, R29, R30, R31, R32 and Lots 1588-1610 in LP82059. (582KB)

From 1978 to the late 1980’s owners of these lots were offered $700 to sell each lot to the Crown as part of the ‘Beach Dune Buy Back Scheme’. Many people transferred their land to the Crown but some lots are still privately owned. The scheme closed many years ago.

A new voluntary assistance scheme for vacant and privately owned coastal dune lots commenced in July 2017. Affected owners with a postal address in Council rate records have been sent information in the mail to let them know how they can participate. Where Council does not have a postal address for an affected owner, diligent enquiries and detailed searches to locate them will be carried out.

The scheme will operate in the same way as the “Between Settlements: Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme”, however landowners who participate will complete a Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme Expression of Interest Form 2D (instead of a Form 2A).

You can also find out more information from the Ninety Mile Beach Plan Frequently Asked Questions Sheet Form 2 (Revised May 2017) (137KB).

 

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