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Ninety Mile Beach Plan

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Background

The Ninety Mile Beach subdivisions are in a 25-kilometre strip of ocean foreshore and sand terrain land between Bass Strait and Lake Reeve, from Paradise Beach in the north east to The Honeysuckles in the south west.

The land was subdivided into about 11,800 small urban sized lots from 1955 to 1969 prior to the introduction of planning controls. Lots were sold by development companies using vigorous marketing campaigns to thousands of people and in many cases to new migrants in Australia.

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.

Much of the area is now inappropriate for development (e.g., due to flooding, erosion, bushfire risk, lack of services etc). Areas unsuitable for development are zoned Rural Conservation. In contrast, land in the Low Density Residential Zone in the Honeysuckles and Golden Beach/Paradise Beach settlements can be developed with planning permit approval.

Note: The map above is conceptual only. Specific zoning and overlay information for a property may be obtained from our Property Zoning and Overlays page.

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:

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
  • Beach dune land/Coastal dune lots
  • Flood affected land/Flood prone lots

Our Policy Plan maps outline each category of land area and provide other specific details for each area:

For land in areas which cannot be developed, Council has concluded the Ninety Mile Beach Plan processes that transferred vacant private land into public ownership. The State Government, via the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning, will now advance a program to acquire the remaining undevelopable privately owned land consistent with the Victorian Ombudsman findings that all this land be transferred into public ownership. This will achieve sustainable future ownership and management of the land, consistent with the adjacent Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park.

For further information, please refer to the following sections on this page and to the Ninety Mile Beach Subdivisions Land Project page of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website: Ninety Mile Beach Subdivisions Land Project (marineandcoasts.vic.gov.au)

Victorian Ombudsman Report

Due to the complex history of the Ninety Mile Beach subdivisions (and associated landowner concerns), the Victorian Ombudsman prepared a report which was tabled in the Victorian Parliament. A copy of the Ombudsman report can be accessed from the Victorian Ombudsman website.

Council welcomed the independent review of the complex issues associated with the Ninety Mile Beach subdivisions, and supported each of the three (3) recommendations made for Council at its meeting of 3 December 2019. Council has taken active steps (with available resourcing) to implement each of the recommendations for Council and will continue to do so. This has included:

A review of Council’s rating strategy and no further levying of rates and waste infrastructure charges on undevelopable vacant Ninety Mile Beach subdivided lots from 1 July 2019. No further rate notices issued for undevelopable blocks.

Notification of the changes to affected rated owners by direct mailout to current owners and public notices in October and November 2020. Refunds were processed for eligible current or previous rated owners (who had made a rates and charges payment since 2006) and who made an application for a refund.

The rating changes and refunds only apply to land on the undevelopable land map shown in red.

For further information regarding the rating of undevelopable Ninety Mile Beach subdivided lots, please refer to our Rates and Valuations page.

It is important to note that the Ombudsman has clearly identified that Council's recent actions have been lawful and competently handled, but it was recognised that improved communication strategies could be put in place. This included a mapping facility to enable landowners to determine the category of their land by searching their property address.

The Ninety Mile Beach Undevelopable Land Map can be searched by property street address or property assessment number (the 6-digit number shown on a rate notice). Undevelopable land is shown in red (Rural Conservation Zoned land and planning controls do not allow any development). Developable land (subject to the grant of a planning permit by Council and compliance with planning controls) is shown in green.

Council is working with and supporting the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning as it advances a compulsory acquisition program of privately-owned undevelopable land now that the council’s Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme and Voluntary Transfer Schemes have concluded.

For further information, please refer to the Ninety Mile Beach Subdivisions Land Project page of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website: Ninety Mile Beach Subdivisions Land Project (marineandcoasts.vic.gov.au)

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. 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 document.

From 1978, this was known as an area suitable for low density housing. Owners had to consolidate their land into larger restructure lots, usually 4 lots before they could develop their land. Owners could do this by selling their land or by purchasing more lots in a restructure lot 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 in 2013.

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 had a funding agreement with the State Government which started in June 2011 for $6 million. It provided affected landowners with the opportunity to voluntarily transfer their land to Council for a voluntary assistance payment. This agreement has ended and the Scheme concluded in 2021.

You can also find out background information about the now closed Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme on the Ninety Mile Beach Plan Frequently Asked Questions Sheet Form 2 (Revised May 2017).

The amount offered was based on independent advice from the Victorian Valuer-General and was non-negotiable. For single lots the amount was $1,500 (less outstanding rates and charges) per lot which was three times the Council valuation of a single lot. If the rates and charges owed were more than the payment offer, this debt to Council was waived at the time of transfer of the land to Council.

Owners did not have to transfer their land to Council as the scheme was voluntary and Council did not compulsorily acquire land from owners who registered in writing that they were unwilling to transfer their land. However, remaining undevelopable privately owned vacant land may now be affected by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning program.

For further information, please refer to the Ninety Mile Beach Subdivisions Land Project page of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website: Ninety Mile Beach Subdivisions Land Project (marineandcoasts.vic.gov.au)

In the 10 years of the voluntary assistance scheme until 2021, nearly 2,000 lots were transferred to Council. Of these, most of the lots were voluntarily transferred and a few hundred were compulsorily acquired by Council when the owner could not be found. As more than 1,000 lots were already in Council ownership prior to June 2011, now more than 80% of the vacant lots in the Between Settlements Area are publicly owned.

It is the responsibility of the owners of the remaining 620 vacant privately owned lots in the between settlements area to notify Council of changes to postal addresses or ownership to receive future notifications about the land. Name and address alteration forms are available on our Rates and Valuation page.

It is also recommended that owners keep any documents including the Certificate of Title that verify their title to or legal interest in the land as they may be required when the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning program commences for this stage.

Between Settlements: Ninety Mile Beach Plan Compulsory Acquisition (address unknowns)

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 where persons with an interest in land cannot be contacted after the conduct of diligent enquiries.

The statutory process was carried out between January 2017 and April 2017 for approximately 440 lots and for a few more lots in early 2021 where Council was unable to contact the owner despite an extensive process of engagement, diligent enquiries and detailed searches to locate them since 2011.

The statutory process included the placing Notices of Intention to Acquire on land in the areas of Golden, Flamingo and Glomar Beaches and publication in a state-wide newspaper (the Herald Sun) on 18 January 2017. Notices of Acquisition were placed on the land and published in the Government Gazette, the Herald Sun and the Gippsland Times in late March and early April 2017.

Coastal Dune Lots: Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme

This land is known as the coastal dunes, beach dunes or narrow dunes and is next to the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park. 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.

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. That scheme closed many years ago.

The Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme was expanded from July 2017 to include vacant privately owned coastal dune lots. It provided affected landowners with the opportunity to voluntarily transfer their land to Council for a voluntary assistance payment. This Scheme concluded in 2021.

The amount offered was based on independent advice from the Victorian Valuer-General and was non-negotiable. The amount was $1,500 (less outstanding rates and charges). If the rates and charges owed were more than the payment offer, this debt to Council was waived at the time of transfer of the land to Council.

Owners did not have to transfer their land to Council as the scheme was voluntary and Council did not compulsorily acquire land from owners who registered in writing that they were unwilling to transfer their land. However, remaining undevelopable privately owned vacant land may now be affected by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning program.

For further information, please refer to the Ninety Mile Beach Subdivisions Land Project page of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website: Ninety Mile Beach Subdivisions Land Project (marineandcoasts.vic.gov.au)

The scheme operated in the same way as the Between Settlements: Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme, you can also find out background information about the now closed Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme on the Ninety Mile Beach Plan Frequently Asked Questions Sheet Form 2 (Revised May 2017).

In the 4 years of the coastal dune lot voluntary assistance scheme until 2021, more than 160 lots were transferred to Council. Of these, 110 lots were voluntarily transferred and 50 were compulsorily acquired by Council when the owner could not be found. Most of the vacant lots in the Coastal Dunes are now publicly owned by the State Government or Council.

It is the responsibility of the owners of the remaining 60 vacant privately owned lots in the coastal dunes to notify Council of changes to postal addresses or ownership to receive future notifications about the land. Name and address alteration forms are available on our Rates and Valuation page.

It is also recommended that owners keep any documents including the Certificate of Title that verify their title to or legal interest in the land as they may be required when the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning program commences for this stage.

Coastal Dune Lots: Ninety Mile Beach Plan Compulsory Acquisition (address unknowns)

At its Council meeting on 19 December 2017, Council resolved to commence the statutory process to compulsorily acquire land in the coastal dunes where persons with an interest in land cannot be contacted after the conduct of diligent enquiries.

The statutory process was carried out between February and May 2018 and in early 2021 for about 50 lots where Council was unable to contact the owner despite an extensive process of engagement, diligent enquiries and detailed searches to locate them.

The statutory process included the placing of Notices of Intention to Acquire on land in the affected areas, and publication in a state-wide newspaper (the Herald Sun) on 15 February 2018. Notices of Acquisition were placed on the land and published in the Government Gazette, the Herald Sun and the Gippsland Times in late April and early May 2018.

Flood Prone Lots: Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Transfer Scheme

There are 2,700 vacant flood prone lots located on the two Lake Reeve Islands, in Paradise Beach north and on areas next to Lake Reeve near Golden Beach and on the edge of The Honeysuckles. Planning controls do not allow development on all lots in this area because of flooding, high ground water levels and to protect the lakes environment. There are no dwellings on the Lake Reeve Islands; however, there are a few existing lawful dwellings built prior to 1978 in the Paradise Beach flood prone area and these dwellings have existing use rights.

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

The Ninety Mile Beach Plan voluntary transfer scheme operated from October 2018 to 2021 for vacant flood prone lots that cannot be developed. It provided the opportunity for landowners to voluntarily transfer their land to Council for a voluntary transfer payment. The scheme concluded in 2021.

The scheme operated in a similar way as the Between Settlements and Coastal Dune Lots: Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Assistance Scheme. You can also find out background information about the now closed Ninety Mile Beach Plan Voluntary Transfer Scheme on the Ninety Mile Beach Plan Frequently Asked Questions November 2018 Flood Prone Lots.

The amount offered was based on independent advice from the Victorian Valuer-General and was non-negotiable. The amount was $100 (less outstanding rates and charges) per lot. Flood prone lots typically have a valuation of $100 each. If the rates and charges owed were more than the payment offer, this debt to Council was waived at the time of transfer of the land to Council.

Owners did not have to transfer their land to Council as the scheme was voluntary and Council did not compulsorily acquire land from owners who registered in writing that they were unwilling to transfer their land. However, remaining undevelopable privately owned vacant land may now be affected by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning program.

For further information, please refer to the Ninety Mile Beach Subdivisions Land Project page of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website: Ninety Mile Beach Subdivisions Land Project (marineandcoasts.vic.gov.au)

In the 3 years of the voluntary transfer scheme, more than 1,500 flood prone lots were transferred to Council. Of these, most of the lots were voluntarily transferred and approximately 700 were compulsorily acquired by Council when the owner could not be found.

It is the responsibility of the owners of the remaining 1,200 vacant privately owned flood prone lots to notify Council of changes to postal addresses or ownership to receive future notifications about the land. Name and address alteration forms are available on our Rates and Valuation page.

It is also recommended that owners keep any documents including the Certificate of Title that verify their title to or legal interest in the land as they may be required when the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning program commences for this stage.

Flood Prone Lots: Ninety Mile Beach Plan Compulsory Acquisition (address unknowns)

At its Council meeting on 18 August 2020, Council resolved to commence the statutory process to compulsorily acquire flood prone land where persons with an interest in land cannot be contacted after the conduct of diligent enquiries.

The statutory process was carried out between April and July 2021, for 700 lots where Council was unable to contact the owner despite an extensive process of engagement, diligent enquiries and detailed searches to locate them.

The statutory process included the placing of Notices of Intention to Acquire on land in the affected areas, and publication in a state-wide newspaper (the Herald Sun) on 23 April 2021. Notices of Acquisition were placed on land in the area and published in the Government Gazette and the Herald Sun on 22 July 2021 and in the Gippsland Times on 27 July 2021.

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This page was last published on: 
Wednesday, May 25, 2022