THE word “restaurant” has disappeared from the website of a Red Hill business that may have breached Green Wedge planning regulations.
Mornington Peninsula Shire officers last month recommended councillors seek an enforcement order from the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) against the Green Olive of Red Hill for not complying with its operating permit.
Environment protection and community safety manager Claire Smith last week no complaints had been received about any other restaurants.
The Green Olive is on a 10 hectare block and under the planning regulations no restaurant can operate on land under 40 hectares.
In 2008 owners Sue and Greg O’Donohue were granted a permit for “primary produce sales” and “manufacturing sales” after presenting plans that showed a small sales counter and tasting area in an existing shed.
Council officers say Green Olive now offers “a substantive menu of food and drink” prepared by two chefs in a commercial-sized kitchen served in an area equipped with 80 chairs.
It also runs cooking classes, has a large dry store and has “drastically modified” the internal layout of the endorsed plans.
Mr O’Donohue earlier this month told The News that he and wife did not run a restaurant.
At that time the Green Olive website referred to food and wine served at its “farm shop” as well as the following: “On a visit to our Farm Shop and Restaurant at Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula you can enjoy coffee from beans roasted on site, savour the smell of our herbs and spices as they roast, enjoy our homemade sausages or tapas dishes and even take a small taste of our farm home with you.”
The popular tripadvisor website says it is “#2 of 6 restaurants” in Main Ridge.
The visitmorningtonpeninsula website, the “official” website of the Mornington Peninsula, carries the following first-person description: “At Green Olive at Red Hill. … Our restaurant is located in the middle of our farm so we have plenty of outdoor space for the children to run around, away from the busy roads.”
Within days of The News publishing details of the confidential briefing to councillors the word “restaurant” had been replaced by “farmshop” on the Green Olive and visitmorningtonpeninsula websites.
Ms Smith last week said council in recent years had approached “a small number of restaurants” in the Green Wedge over noise from functions and or operating hours.
“Each of these matters were able to be resolved without the need for formal action,” she said.
Action had been taken against a business at 1175 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Red Hill “in relation to various activities occurring on the land”.
“The main activity of concern was the sale of packaged liquor and the interpretation of various planning permits issued on the land over the years,” Ms Smith said.
“The land [occupied by Noels Gallery Bar and Restaurant] had a planning permit issued in 1994 allowing for the use of ‘tea rooms’ for up to 30 people to operate only in association with ‘art exhibitions’ (essentially a restaurant).
“The Tribunal found that the sale of packaged liquor was a prohibited land use and they also found that there was an anomaly in the planning permit that required rectification for the ‘tea rooms’ to continue.
“This was not an enforcement proceeding, and the landowner ceased the sale of packaged liquor following the hearing.”