Stab Magazine | Would-Be Bells Beach Developer Won’t Take No For An Answer

'Wildcard - The Moana Jones-Wong Story' Premieres December 6


Would-Be Bells Beach Developer Won’t Take No For An Answer

Landowner goes over the head of community and local authorities.

news // Sep 21, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

A local landowner in the Bells Beach hinterland is doing their best to have the area’s first ever tourist development approved, despite the plans being rejected by the local Surf Shire council, not to mention widespread opposition from the local community. Specifically, the plans are to “construct a new dwelling attached to the existing dwelling and the use of these two dwellings for group accommodation and the use and development of a new dwelling and native vegetation removal.” The landowner has since taken their proposal to the Victorian Civil And Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), who will hold a hearing on the 24th of October. 

Local surfboard shaper and 30-year veteran of surfing along this stretch of coast, Michael ‘Vanda’ Van Der Klooster, says “the local community as a whole would be completely against it.” Though, as “a bit of a capitalist,” he says he can see it from both sides. 

“I can see it’s going to be good for the local economy… if it’s pretty small it’d be pretty cool for people to come and stay out the back of Bells,” he says, adding:

“I think they’re honestly fighting a losing battle. It’s gonna happen now or it’s gonna happen in 20 years. It’s privately owned farmland behind Bells… It’s just development. It could absolutely pave the way but it could also destroy the whole bit of Bells; how you look back and you’re looking into the rolling hills and trees.” petition with 6,536 signatures, and a target of 7,500 signatures is currently circulating, head here to sign it.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry

"Bull-riding is such a great warmup for surfing big waves."

Dec 6, 2022

Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters

3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.

Dec 6, 2022


‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’

RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!

Dec 5, 2022

What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?

Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.

Dec 5, 2022

Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT

After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…

Dec 3, 2022

An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties 

A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.

Dec 3, 2022

Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl

And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.

Dec 3, 2022


Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden

Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.

Dec 2, 2022

5 New Surfers Confirmed For The Vans Pipe Masters

Who's out, who's in?

Dec 2, 2022

Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Dec 2, 2022

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4

The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.

Dec 2, 2022

‘Saturn’ Orbits Into Southern California

Quiksilver's newest film made landfall in Encinitas, and we were there to document the occasion.

Dec 1, 2022

The Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Returns In 2023

Can anyone beat John Florence and Carissa Moore in a three-week window?

Dec 1, 2022

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022


Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?

Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.

Nov 30, 2022

After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow

"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay

Nov 30, 2022


Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022


Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022