Trees feature in Turtons Creek proposal

A UNIQUE tree house would be the feature of a five lodge short-stay accommodation development proposed for Turtons Creek.

The tree house would be constructed among four gum trees, integrating the trees into the building to provide a unique accommodation experience.

The two story building would be suspended by eight engineered iron bark poles, so no weight was borne by the trees.

The XO Network Pty Ltd, owned by Tim Watkinson and Dan Crozier, is behind the proposal and presented to the South Gippsland Shire Council last Wednesday.

The planning application for the project was submitted about one month ago.

“We’re hoping to hear back within the next six to eight weeks and after that, as soon as the weather dries up we hope to start construction at the site,” Mr Crozier said.

Mr Watkinson said the project had enormous potential to bring people into the area.

He said they have used local planners and designers and if the project is approved will use local tradespeople as well.

“We plan to link into existing tourism ventures. People aren’t going to stay (in our accommodation) for the sake of it, so we will leverage off the local stuff,” he said.

“It is a great area, I love being here. It will be easy to get people to be involved.”

Mr Crozier said the design of the four lodges is based on an original design by a Harvard University student, modified for local conditions by Leongatha’s Peter Milkins.

“The tree house was completely designed by Peter Milkins,” he said.

Mr Crozier said the property in Turtons Creek is around 20 acres, which has not been used for commercial farming in many years.

He said it is currently covered in blackberries, which they are working hard to eradicate.

“We want to restore it to a reasonable state so our guests can enjoy the property,” he said.

Councillor Lorraine Brunt questioned the location of the proposed development, considering it was covered by a bushfire management overlay.

Mr Crozier said the bushfire management statement completed on the proposal stated the lodges needed to be built to bushfire attack level (BAL) 12.5 (low risk).

“We will build to BAL 29, which is significantly higher,” he said.

“We will also conduct biannual inspections of the tree house to make sure there are no branches above the roof line.”

Mr Watkinson and Mr Crozier said the development in Turtons Creek will not exceed five lodges, however they are actively seeking other properties in the area.

The project is expected to cost less than $1 million to complete and will provide some local employment opportunities.

High hopes: Tim Watkinson and Dan Crozier from XO Network Pty Ltd are proposing a five lodge short stay accommodation development for Turtons Creek, which includes a unique tree house.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=21993

Posted by on Jul 25 2017. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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