A once-in-a-lifetime project

Point Grey – Lorne Redevelopment

The Point Grey precinct is public land located on the southern entry to Lorne along the Great Ocean Road and includes the Lorne Pier, Lorne Aquatic and Angling Club (LAAC), Lorne Pier Seafood Restaurant, and the former Lorne Fishing Cooperative.

Point Grey represents a place where the stories of Lorne, its histories and culture converge.

As one of the most outstanding sites on the Great Ocean Road, Point Grey presents an opportunity to create a unique experience for local residents and visitors while delivering economic and community benefit to the Lorne township and Surf Coast Shire.

The Point Grey – Lorne redevelopment is one of the largest new public-space projects in the Surf Coast and along the Great Ocean Road. The redevelopment site is 1.7 hectares and will include a new public realm of 600sqm and lawn areas of 900sqm, all with uninterrupted views of the water.

The redevelopment will provide strong links to the Lorne township and hinterland, offer cultural, historic and recreational activities, a range of dining experiences, lighting and interpretive experiences, and ultimately, encourage overnight stays in the region.

The redevelopment project will create 30 construction and 14 hospitality jobs and be a significant multiplier for service and supply jobs.

The project is backed by a community supported master plan and is a project priority of G21, Surf Coast Shire and Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism.

Background

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee has worked closely with the Lorne and Surf Coast community to progress the redevelopment of the Point Grey – Lorne Precinct. In consultation with the community and key stakeholders, the Point Grey Precinct Master Plan was completed in 2015, followed by a Business Case that identified appropriate funding models.

A Project Steering Group comprising key external stakeholders was convened in August 2017 and has provided input at each stage of the redevelopment program.

An Architectural Design Expression of Interest (EOI) commenced in September 2017 to progress the master plan concepts into detailed design. The EOI attracted 39 responses, with four shortlisted to submit as entrants to the Architectural Design Competition. The successful design by Searle x Waldron Architecture and Edwards Moore Projects was appointed by an award-winning architectural jury.

Community consultation was undertaken from March-August 2018 to test elements of the winning design. Overall, the feedback was supportive of the design for the redevelopment and informed detailed design and planning submissions.

A local Creative Counsel was established by GORCC in 2018 to tap into the wealth of knowledge regarding Lorne’s history and culture. The Point Grey Creative, Heritage and Cultural Plan was commissioned as a result, with the aim to deliver creative, heritage and cultural components of the project as well as enable creative uses and activation of the site.

The Point Grey – Lorne Redevelopment project is now in the final planning phase, with GORCC working to have design, documentation, leasing, and grant funding completed and ready for construction to begin in the first half of 2021.

Key project points:

  • Business Case completed.
  • The winning design is by Searle x Waldron Architecture and Edwards Moore Projects.
  • The construction stage of the project is expected to cost $10 million, with $8 million funded through the Geelong City Deal, and a $2 million contribution by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee.
  • Project priority of G21, Surf Coast Shire and Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism.
  • A Federal government commitment of $8m to the project through the Geelong City Deal was announced in October 2018, including $900,000 to the Lorne Aquatic and Angling Club (LAAC) to redevelop their Club House.
  • Planning applications were submitted to DELWP and Surf Coast Shire in November 2018.
  • A Cultural Heritage Management Plan was completed with Eastern Maar in 2019.

Community consultation

Continued community consultation is an integral part of the Point Grey – Lorne Redevelopment. In 2018, the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee gathered feedback from a number of groups and individuals who use the site.

The results highlighted some key themes:

Theme 1: Heritage

Respondents saw further opportunities to respect the pre and post-Settlement heritage of the area, reflecting the buildings currently on site.  Retention of elements of existing buildings, and incorporating the original crane and a couta boat in the design were examples cited.   Key stakeholders in the Lorne community provided feedback that the heritage, culture and creativity component was at risk of not fulfilling expectations.

Response: A Creative Counsel was formed with invitations extended to the Presidents of Committee for Lorne, Lorne Historical Society, Friends of Lorne, Lorne Business and Tourism Association and the CEO Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation.  A Cultural, Heritage and Creative Plan is being developed and integrated into the detailed design as part of the commercial and public space.

Theme 2: Materials

Respondents were concerned about the durability of the timber in an exposed coastal environment. Many respondents also noted the design, as depicted in concepts, overwhelmed the natural feel of the area.

Response:  Our architects are working to find the most durable materials for this project. The buildings must meet bushfire rating requirements for the site and public space, including any covered accessible spaces.  There will be other adjustments to the design as per Theme 3 and Theme 4.

Theme 3: The hearth and the chimney area

When prompted the majority of respondents (57%) said they did not support this design element citing maintenance and up-keep as reasons.

Response:  The community hearth will be replaced with an alternative design to activate this area as a meeting space; recognising cultural and heritage significance.  This area will be developed as part of the Cultural, Heritage and Creative Plan and integrated into the detailed design as part of the commercial and public space.

Theme 4: Amphitheatre

The majority of respondents (57.4%) did not support the amphitheatre element of the design.  Reasons cited included: detracting from the Angling Club view and amenity, preferred locations on the foreshore, and potential lack of use as reasons.

Response: The design will be replaced with a covered deck rather than an amphitheatre.

Theme 5: Car parking

The need to retain or improve car parking arrangements.

Response: Detailed design will ensure there is no net loss of car parking, while still offering more open space for community gathering.

Theme 6: Size of the Angling Club

There was support for an expanded footprint of the Angling Club.

Response: The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee will continue work with the club to proceed to planning approvals.

Theme 7: Open Space

There was support for the design’s open space (78% mentioning these exact words).

Response: An alternative design for the chimney and hearth area will complement open space and reduce what was perceived as an “overwhelming” aspect of the design.

Theme 8: Shelly Beach

There was support for protecting Shelly Beach as a natural environment.

Response: Shelly Beach remains as it is. The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee has met with the Eastern Maar and will undertake a voluntary Cultural Heritage Survey on the midden area next to Point Grey.


The winning design

The winning design was by Searle x Waldron Architecture and Edwards Moore Projects (see Media Release MR Point Grey Design Competition Winner).

 

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee will continue to work closely with the Lorne and Surf Coast community to deliver the project.

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Current Lorne projects

View a summary of all current projects in Lorne

Project Information

The Point Grey Precinct is situated on public land managed by Great Ocean Road Coast on the southern side of the Lorne township bounded by the Great Ocean Road on one side and the ocean on the other.

The Precinct is connected to the centre of Lorne by a walking track along the foreshore and is the starting point for the annual Lorne Pier to Pub swimming event.

The area is reserved for Protection of the Coastline and Public Purposes (#1983 – 3705) under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 and is located within Public Park and Recreation Zone under the Surf Coast Planning Scheme.

The precinct currently comprises a mix of community, recreational and commercial activities, including the pier, restaurant, Aquatic Club, boat launching, recreational and competition fishing, barbeque and recreation area, car parking, public toilets and open space.

The precinct boasts a range of economic, environmental, social and cultural values and opportunities. An integral part of the Lorne community, it is highly valued and used by locals, holiday makers and day visitors. It also contains significant Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural heritage values.

Many of the current buildings on the site are ageing and there is scope for increased protection of the natural environment and cultural sites.

Q: How are you retaining the historic importance of the site? 

A: In addition to the winning architectural design, we have formed a Creative Counsel of local community representatives to provide advice on future interpretive work at Point Grey and linking it back to Lorne Central.

Q: How are you respecting Aboriginal heritage? 

Aboriginal Heritage is paramount with ongoing conversations with the Eastern Maar, Aboriginal Victoria and others. There will also be cultural heritage surveys undertaken on site.  Community and cultural connection to this site remains a critical element of the project.

We are privileged to work on Country on the coast and pay our respects to Aboriginal Traditional Owners past and present.

Q: Is there still road access to Shelley Beach?

A: Yes, this will not change. Shelley Beach remains as it currently is.

Q: Current design plans don’t show a boat access south of the precinct, is it there?

A: This access is being retained.

Q: Boat trailer parking has only four spaces, is this enough? 

A: There will be 10-12 provided in the overflow area during summer

Q: The contemplative area seems to have grasses in the lawn area?

A: The lawn will remain as it currently is.

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