Plans for a microbrewery in green wedge-zoned land at Moorooduc include car parking for 28 vehicles, an additional dwelling as well as growing hops for the beer that would be brewed and sold on site.
Mornington Peninsula Shire’s planning services committee last week deferred making a decision on a permit for the brewery despite officers recommending that a permit be refused.
Council officers recommended the permit be refused but Cr David Gill said councillors decided a deferral would allow “interested parties to engage in a discussion to see if all aspects and ramifications of the permit application had been fleshed out” so an agreement could be reached before a decision was made by council of the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal.
Under the permit application beer-making and selling is proposed on the 34 hectares of grazing land at the corner of Graydens and Stumpy Gully roads next to the Mornington Peninsula Cricket Association’s R M Hooper Oval.
While most of the land would be retained for grazing, the microbrewery proponents say 1.7 hectares would be used to grow hops and 6.4hectares for barley. Councillors on the planning services committee were told that “preliminary investigation suggests [the] applicant has way overestimated the potential yields of barley”.
The shire’s “rural business officer”, in a report, estimated 12.8 tonnes of barley may be produced on the 6.4 hectares when 116.5 tonnes would be needed to make 233,000 litres of beer, which was stated to be two thirds of the microbrewery’s output.
The report by strategic projects senior planner Hugh Pierce, said the proposed microbrewery was dependent on the establishment of a relationship with agricultural produce to be grown on the site.
“Whilst the proposal does indicate some link between the land and the microbrewery, the level of information provided detailing how this will be undertaken (from an operational and manufacturing perspective) and the timeframes for both agricultural production of the key ingredients and the commencement of brewing operations are lacking,” the report to the committee’s 17 September meeting stated.
“Therefore, there is an inability to be assured that the critical relationship between the land and industry is acceptable. The commercial element (i.e. the sale and consumption component) of the proposal also raises concerns regarding both its appropriateness within the context of this green wedge land, and whether sale and consumption will be truly ancillary, or grow to become the more dominant use of the land over time.
“Whilst the microbrewery is proposed to produce beer with key ingredients sourced from the land, the sale and consumption area alone is considered a large-scale proposal in the green wedge … The onsite sale and consumption of liquor for up to 40 patrons will have detrimental implications for the existing rural amenity of the area.”
Mr Pierce said if the microbrewery was “not supported” the shire could be left with two dwellings on the site “which is prohibited within the green wedge Zone”.