//Highton block where Bean Squeeze proposal was rejected sold to developers

Highton block where Bean Squeeze proposal was rejected sold to developers

Highton bean squeeze application

Scores of residents fought a proposal by Bean Squeeze to create a drive-through coffee outlet in Highton. Picture: Mike Dugdale

Having succeeded in blocking a drive-through coffee shop on a busy strip in a planning battle compared to The Castle, Highton residents may face a bigger development on their doorstep.

A double block at 78-80 Barrabool Road, Highton, was central to a three-year battle against a proposed Bean Squeeze outlet that ended in 2019 when proponents withdrew their appeal to VCAT.

Geelong councillors had voted unanimously in 2018 to ignore the planning department’s support for the proposal, subject to conditions, following a vocal community campaign led by members of the Highton Senior Citizens Centre.

Houses at 78 and 80 Barrabool Road, Highton sold for $1.492m

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The 1259sq m site, presently home to two houses, sold for $1.492m at auction on Saturday.

Three bidders participated in the auction of the property with frontages to Barrabool Road and Montague Street, all looking to unlock the development potential of the site opposite Highton Reserve and near Highton Village shopping centre.

The auction attracted potential buyers keen to redevelop the properties for a residential development.

The property earns $38,480 in annual rent in its current format.

But the real value lies in the zoning.

The site falls in an Increased Housing Diversity Area where the General Residential Zone Schedule 4 (GRZ4) allows a maximum building height of 11 metres and 3 storeys.

The zone also allows for a maximum site coverage of 70 per cent, while stipulating minimum allowance of private open space for individual residences.

Ray White agent Adam Natonewski said all the buyers were looking at the property from a residential perspective.

That means a multistorey apartment complex or at least multiple townhouse dwellings could be possible on the site.

That prospect attracted a host of developers to size up the property.

The eventual buyer was bidding over the phone through his children on site, while the underbidder was Geelong builder Paul Malishev.

Ray White, Highton agent Adam Natonewski said residential or commercial development and landbanking was available to the buyers.

The buyer was bidding over the phone.

“I think all the buyers were looking from a residential perspective, rather than any commercial opportunity,” he said.

The development potential included high density units, he said.

Bidding opened at $1m, which was the combined purchase price of the separate properties in 2016.

Builder, Paul Malishev, right, was the underbidder.

In their unanimous 8-0 vote against the coffee shop — two doors up from a drive-through bottle shop — Geelong councillors cited impacts on traffic, noise, amenity, neighbourhood character and the adjacent Highton Seniors Community Centre as factors in their decision.

Then-mayor Bruce Harwood invoked the one of the most famous lines from Australian movie The Castle in rejecting the proposal, according to a report from the Addy at the time.

“It is a classic Darryl Kerrigan situation: ‘tell them they’re dreaming’,” he said.

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