Plans to turn an Allansford Airbnb property into a wedding venue has been knocked back by Warrnambool City councillors with concerns raised over its impact on platypus in the Hopkins River.
Citing noise and environmental concerns, councillors went against the officers' recommendation to support a proposal to turn Stone Keepers Run into a function centre in a 5-1 vote.
It was one of three planning applications that were rejected at this week's council meeting, going against planning officers' recommendations to approve them.
The plan for the Tooram Road venue - which would cater for up to 120 people with live music - attracted 12 objections.
Cr Richard Ziegeler put forward an alternative motion to refuse the project which he said would be a "huge imposition" on neighbours and the environment.
He said the property was adjacent to the Hopkins River - a very sensitive environmental area.
"There are elements of fauna that need to be protected and should not be subject to any kind of imposition of noise or light such as the platypus and the denizens of the water," he said.
"I don't know exactly what the imposition is but I don't want to risk them being imposed upon."
Cr Ziegeler said noise, possible littering and exposure to light was a lot to ask of that environment, and of the neighbours who had chosen that area for the lifestyle.
"To have this imposed upon them is entirely unfair," he said.
"The users themselves will not have to put up with it themselves because they don't live there."
Cr Angie Paspaliaris said she had concerns about noise, and wouldn't want to live next to a venue that would host 20 weddings a year.
She said residents did not sign up to live near a venue that hosted events late into the night.
Cr Paspaliaris said she would have supported it if it was day weddings rather than wedding receptions which would finish at 11pm.
"It just comes down to noise. I think that is a big issue for people out there," she said.
"It's a little too close for comfort with other neighbours in the vicinity."
Cr Ben Blain was the only councillor to support the plan saying it was a great venue for weddings.
"The sound just doesn't add up to me. There is more environmental noise pollution coming from the speedway than what there's going to be coming from this wedding venue," he said.
"I think they're about on par. If there's any environmental impacts they'd already be happening.
"It's only 20 events a year.
"I think it's an exciting proposal that supports local businesses in the local community."
Cr Blain said litter was not an issue. "This is going to be a wedding venue. This is going to be pristine," he said.
The proposal had mitigation measures for noise and was "a fair distance" from other properties.
"I just can't see why we would be going against it," Cr Blain said.
Cr Otha Akoch said he had concerns about security at the isolated property, and noise.
Cr Vicki Jellie said she had issues with the project with cars exiting the venue.
"It's not a great road in the dark," she said.
Cr Max Taylor said the noise level around the function centre was totally irrelevant because the function centre was only 800 metres from Premier Speedway which had 17 meetings between November and April.
"If I had my choice I would never buy in that vicinity to live in the first place because of all the noise generated from the speedway," he said.
"Noise generated from the function centre would be only minor compared to the noise level from the speedway."
But he said functions could get out of hand.
Cr Taylor said it was a beautiful environment and he didn't want it threatened by large crowds, waste and parking.
Cr Debbie Arnott declared a conflict of interest and did not vote.
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