Eco resort no comfort for Mount Helena residents

An artist’s impression of the eco resort proposal for Mount Helena.
Eco resort no comfort for Mount Helena residents
An artist’s impression of the eco resort proposal for Mount Helena.

RESIDENTS say a revised plan for an eco resort with day spa and helipad is out of place in Mount Helena.

Hobby farmer Joan Quinn said the “major commercial development” next to her property in Alison Street would bring unwanted traffic, noise and create a loss of amenity to the community.

“The main venue and restaurant of the resort has been moved from my boundary line to the middle of the block,” she said.

“However, the applicant has increased the function and wedding reception centre operating hours from fortnightly to every weekend.

“I don’t want helicopters flying over my home and landing next door.”

Mrs Quinn said an alpaca farm bordered the other side of the proposed site in the heart of a town where conservation of land and wildlife was highly valued.

“This really is a huge amount of development for a very rural area; we came here for the peace and quiet,” Mrs Quinn said.

“Imagine traffic trundling down Alison Street at night?

“It is a dark, narrow and unlit country road, which can be dangerous at the best of times.”

Mrs Quinn has run a hobby farm on her 6ha property for 15 years and lived in Mount Helena for the past 25 years.

She said the revised application would affect more people because of the anticipated increase in weekly traffic to and from the resort.

Jane Brook Catchment Group and Mount Helena Residents and Ratepayers Progress Association raised concerns over the original proposal in July.

Association president Gwyneth Dean said she would prepare a second submission objecting to the application.

“We are not against tourism and development, but one of the big things people are attracted to here is the rural environment,” Mrs Dean said.

“This is a totally commercial operation; a great idea in the wrong place.”

More than 70 residents have signed a petition opposing the development.

Mrs Dean urged residents to review the latest proposal on the Shire website before councillors reconsider the application on December 8.

Online and written submissions must be made before 4pm Monday, November 9.

The applicant, represented by Wembley Downs-based Proekt Architecture, wants to build six holiday chalets, a day spa, and a restaurant with capacity reduced from 200 to 100 guests.