Although not in Tecoma, Burnham Beeches is just across the Sherbrooke Forest from us at 1 Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke. It is the location of an historic home established by the Nicholas Family of the Nicholas Aspro fame. There is a proposal before Council for the redevelopment of this site which will include 80 Villa Units. Although this land is marked as "Special" such development will have an impact in the future upon the whole of the Dandenong Ranges as all developers use the existing developed environment as a reason to make development changes elsewhere.

This site is classified as a "Special Use Zone" and was thus zoned years ago with the view of improving tourism in the Dandenong Ranges. At that time no-one considered the level of development being proposed now. Thus the owners wish for the definition of this zone to be updated. Should the Council accept the proposed changes to the meaning of this SUZ, any further development within the area can be performed by the developers without any community consultation and without any chance of neighbours or the community to object on planning grounds.

It is interesting that the owners wish to improve tourism in the Dandenongs but they also state that they are creating a One Stop Shop where visitors will be completely served and have no need to visit other areas of the Dandenongs. Thus, this proposal will increase traffic to the Hills but no benefits to the existing Hills tourist attractions. They get the benefits and the community gets the costs.

Surely a compromise can be reached where a more 'traditional' Hills tourist spot can be created, with boutique Hotel, restaurants, gardens, and facilities without adding in some high density housing?

Council are considering this proposal next Tuesday evening (11th August) at the Council Chambers in Lilydale. The more concerned Hills Residents that attend to provide input to the debate, the better will be the outcome for all Hills residents.

More details can be found at http://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/Lists/Minutes-Agendas/Council-meeting-11-August-2015?agenda. Here is the summary ...

 The owners of Burnham Beeches, 1 Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke, are requesting an amendment to the Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme to allow staged development of the 22.67 hectare site in the Dandenong Ranges. The owners seek Council’s support to undertake and exhibit a planning scheme amendment which will introduce a new schedule to the Special Use Zone and support a more intense and extensive development than is allowed for under the existing schedule.

 The amendment will facilitate a three stage master plan which proposes to reinstate a 46 suite hotel and function facilities in the Norris Building. The remaining area of the site is proposed to be fully developed with 2 restaurants, brewery, shop / café, a spa (wellness) centre, cooking school, group accommodation, outdoor cinema / concert facilities and agriculture. The master plan also proposes approximately 80 dwellings (‘villa units’) ranging from 1 - 5 bedrooms to be located on the site, along with 20 camping ‘pods’. It is understood the villa units are to be used and managed as part of the hotel accommodation but will be sold individually and consequently are required be considered as dwellings.

 The proposed schedule is proposed to exempt third party notification and appeal rights for any future permits issued on the site, meaning that once the amendment is approved, the public will have no further ability to object to any development on the site that is generally in accordance with the master plan.

 While a tourism development on this site that includes restoration of the Norris Building is generally supported, the information provided to date is insufficient to fully assess the amendment and to determine whether the site could actually accommodate what is proposed under the master plan. In particular, the extensive residential/ accommodation proposed on site is of concern and raises many issues that have not been addressed. It is suggested that further information be provided before the amendment is considered and progressed to authorisation and exhibition.


The Tecoma Village Action Group (TVAG) is one of many Township Groups throughout the Dandenong Ranges working to make their township a better place to live and work. TVAG is a member of the Shire of Yarra Ranges Townships Network.      More


About Us


Interested in the future of Tecoma? Would you like to help with improving life in the Hills? Need help or advice pertaining to a development proposal?

Please contact our Membership Secretary

The Tecoma Village Action Group comprises residents living in the area of Tecoma who wish to contribute to the growth of and preservation of the characteristics of our township that draw people to live in this wonderful area of the Dandenong Ranges.

TVAG is a member of the Shire of Yarra Ranges Townships Groups Network and as such represents Tecoma to the Shire of Yarra Ranges. Through this link we are able to apply to Council for funding of Community Projects and be instrumental in developing “Tecoma’s Future”.

TVAG is an Incorporated Association that supports other organisations and events in the region of Tecoma, such as The Hills Food Frontier (FLAME Festival, Community Garden Pathway); Destination Tecoma, and art organisations such as the Tiffaney Bishop Collective and FATSpace.

TVAG is often contacted by residents with concerns about development issues. Through its contacts and experience, TVAG has been able to draw these concerns to the wider community and provide information and support for these concerns. TVAG has supported residents in their concerns all the way to Council and VCAT.

TVAG is an incorporated association of volunteers, members of the community who volunteer their time and experience to represent Tecoma. To be truly representative though, TVAG requires your support through membership and contribution to community discussions.   

TVAG - Who are we?

A local concern is the proposed multipurpose Hub for Belgrave. This will be a large building and development taking over the current Youth Services building and car parking next to the Cameo Cinema. It is proposed to take over many of the local community services that are currently spread around in smaller buildings such as Insipro Community Health, Tucker in the Tin Shed, Historical Society, Maternal & Child Health, Aged and Disability Services, etc.

Over $8M will be spent on a building that may not be needed, may not be a good fit for the Hills and set another bad precedent, have a 'catchment' to service Knox and Cardinia as well as Yarra Ranges, and duplicate existing health services.

It is not too late to contribute to the debate. Further details are available from the Shire Upwey Link Office.

Belgrave Hub

Bernham Beeches Development

After the Council meeting on August 11th, a public meeting was called to gain knowledge and understanding about the proposal and provide an opportunity for discussion and future direction. This meeting will be held at the Ferny Creek Recreation Reserve on the corner of Hilton and Clarkmont Roads, Ferny Creek at 7:30pm on Wednesday August 19th. Further details from nautakat@gmail.com.

Directly prior to this meeting, also on Wednesday 19th August, but at 5:30pm, Shannon Bennett and Adam Garrisson will be holding a presentation of their master plan for Burnham Beeches. This meeting will be held at Burnham Beeches Piggery Cafe, 1 Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke.

Yarra Ranges Councillors will be present at both meetings.

Bernham Beeches update