The Surf Coast Shire will consider a recommendation to extend the town boundary of Torquay to allow for more housing.
After months of hearings and more than 500 submissions, the independent panel found the “logical next extension” for growth is to rezone land to the west of Torquay, at Spring Creek.
It found up to 3,370 homes would be required in Torquay and Jan Juc to meet population growth in the area by 2040.
The panel is urging the council to write to the planning minister, asking for the residential boundary to be extended by one kilometre to allow for urban growth.
The council will consider the panel’s report.
The recommendation will argue many residents told the panel Spring Creek should not be developed because it would ruin the character of the area.
“Torquay is on the way to just another tawdry beachside community,” one resident told the panel.
The panel agreed the change would have an impact on the community.
“It will, just as the character of Torquay has changed in the last 40 years as the town has grown from a small hamlet of a few thousand people to a major regional centre,” the panel said.
“This does not mean that the character will be ‘worse’, but it will certainly be different. That is the nature and end result of planning, growth and change.”
The Geelong Christian College is one of several landowners in the Spring Creek valley, which is waiting to find out if it can develop on its land.
The panel supported the college’s proposal, noting the college has said it would offer its facilities to be used by the broader community.
The panel also supported the council’s plans to rezone land in Torquay North for a shopping centre.