Local winery proposal given green light

July 22, 2017 by  

Epping residents are set to have their own local winery just down the road following recent approval by the City of Whittlesea for a restaurant and 30-hectare winery at Mernda.

Planned to be introduced on land in Bridge Inn Road, the project will feature a vineyard and provide potential for wine production, a restaurant/café and a cellar.

Landowners Christine and Paul Vella came up with the idea before applying to council for Whittlesea Planning Scheme amendments to allow subdivision and rezoning of their land.

The application also sought rezoning of 15 hectares of the property, which is within the Urban Growth Boundary, for residential development.

A further 64 hectares of land would be given to council for use in the Quarry Hills Parklands project.

In a report put together in presentation folders for councilors, both amendments received support. It also stated the proposal would provide “economic, social and environmental benefit to the municipality.”

Permission is now being sought by council from Richard Wynne, State Planning Minister, for the drawing up and exhibition of the amendments proposed.

Once the amendments are ratified by Parliament, Council can act on the proposal.

During the past 20 years living on the property, the Vellas had mainly raised beef cattle. The latest proposal will mark their first experience with wine production. According to a council report, the winery was “an appropriate use and development into the parkland interface.”