The site is 550 acres (220ha) and previously zoned Rural Conservation and Farming. The site is used for grazing, an existing Broiler Farm and a total of six houses. The site is private property and CORA is not seeking to utilise public land nor change the way public land is currently utilised in any way.
Rezoning the land to a Comprehensive Development Zone was required to facilitate the unique mix of land uses. The new zoning sets explicit planning controls to ensure adherence to the outcomes the project represents to deliver.
CORA is an athlete training facility catering for national and international sporting teams, as well as local teams. It is not a match day venue, and does not include stadiums or spectator events.
Approximately half of the site is to be a conservation precinct with an existing farm on Connies Lane retained for food production. The balance of the site will include Sports Fields and Buildings, a Sports Science hub, Retail/Tourism/Cultural facilities and accommodation via a 128-room hotel and 61 Super Lodges.
Public access will be possible to all areas of the site other than the conversation precinct and some sport facilities which will be controlled by specific tenants. CORA’s aim is to form partnerships with local schools and sports clubs to provide access to the sport facilities.
Extensive biodiversity and water studies have been undertaken to ensure CORA responds to and improves the environmental qualities of the site. CORA’s ambition is to be LEED Platinum which is an internationally recognised Environmentally Sustainable Design accreditation.
Based on ongoing engagement with the Wadawurrung Aboriginal Corporation CORA is developing a Cultural Heritage Management plan which is to recognise and respect the site’s indigenous significance.
Buildings will generally be 1 and 2 storeys in height with the hotel and sports buildings (gym, media centre & elite sports facilities) being up to 3 storeys in height.
The 128-room Hotel and 61 Super Lodges will encourage overnight visitation and a greater tourist spend being retained in the region. The Retail & Tourism Village will promote the region’s capacity to produce food. The child-minding centre will serve the community, particularly those working at CORA.
CORA will provide further opportunities for local employment. The project’s preferred builder for the estimated 1,000 construction jobs is committing to a 75% local labour and supply target. CORA will also prioritise locals for the estimated 670 FTE positions.