By definition, these islands are visually exposed to views from the sea and will need careful site planning if major change is contemplated. Phillip Island, on the ocean side, is characterised by a flat cliff landscape, of basalt geology and is sensitive to development. In contrast, French Island is a sedimentary island that has a gentle rolling landscape and a low and largely vegetated coastline. Phillip Island has low vegetation level on the ocean side with lower, exposed sandy cliffs and beaches on the Western Port side whereas French Island generally has extensive vegetation cover. Churchill Island is a small knoll, with a mixture of indigenous/exotic vegetation.
Phillip Island's southern coast from Newhaven to the Nobbies is attractive, although subject to the impact of holiday house development taking advantage of the island's visual setting, proximity to the metropolitan area, ocean beaches and cliffs.
Features such as the San Remo Bridge and the associated fishing ports of San Remo and Newhaven contrast strongly with the stunning pink granite headland of Cape Woolamai. Mention should be made of the historic significance of the entry to Western Port at the eastern end, as well as the busier and more exposed western entry between the Nobbies and Flinders.
Other major viewing points include swimming beaches, car parks, piers at San Remo, Newhaven and Cowes, the Penguin Parade and the Nobbies. The southern side of Phillip Island is of high visual significance and needs overlay landscape controls to ensure protection of the scenic landscape.
- The island character should be reinforced by containing development to existing settlements and holding new works back from the waters edge.
- Appropriate planning controls are required to ensure that the landscape values of the area are protected.
- Consideration should be given to revegetation of areas that have been cleared over the course of the islands' history.
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