PLANNING Minister Matthew Guy has given final official OK for the major slice of a new housing area overlooking the Hopkins River valley and ocean in east Warrnambool.
His approval published in the Government Gazette this month means developers can start carving about 89 hectares of former farmland for about 400 housing lots on the northern side of Hopkins Point Road.
Another new housing area for about 100 lots on the southern side of the road already has final approval.
The Hopkins Hill precinct was first officially identified 10 years ago as a housing growth area and has been through numerous layers of negotiations, consultations and approvals by the city council and government departments.
Among the requirements of the special planning amendment approved by the minister for the northern portion is a stipulation for “sensitive landscape treatment to lessen the visual impact on the Hopkins River and the wider coastal landscape”.
It will be designed to retain the green ridgeline when viewed from key surrounding vantage points and create a circular linear park. Trees within the park would screen dwellings above it, enabling a green skyline when viewed from the surrounding area, the approval document says.
City growth director Bill Millard said the minister’s gazettal came after a long lead-up.
“Work is now proceeding on subdivisions and development plans,” he said.