Bass and Flinders Distillery
The Evolution of a family business
Bass and Flinders is an iconic, family run artisanal distillery producing small batch, grape based spirits. One of the earlier established Australian distilleries, they were the first distillery on the Mornington Peninsula.
When Prossor Town Planning first engaged with Bass and Flinders, they were coming into a new stage of their business evolution and needed to find a new location for their much-loved distillery. Having leased a space amongst a winery in Red Hill, they wanted to relocate to somewhere more permanent, which would allow for continued business growth.
Utilising Jackie’s planning knowledge and expertise, she helped the family explore possibilities for new sites. With a desire to stay in the Red Hill hinterland, they reviewed several green wedge parcels to determine the feasibility and what planning considerations would need to be addressed.
Whilst the Bass and Flinders team really wanted to focus on a rural experience and linkages to the wine touring route, over time, it became evident that contemplating options in an industrial space was going to be a more viable option. It presented increased possibilities for both production and design of the customer experience, as well as a more secure foundation for future business growth.
From a tourism perspective, there was a real desire to stay in the green wedge zone, but from a planning standpoint it wasn’t as viable for them as a business.
Step by Step
Bass and Flinders focus is primarily aimed on their actual products of botanicals and spirits, verses a multi layered experience that
includes a food provision. Jackie took this into consideration when developing the approach to their planning strategy.
Regularly for planning applications, Jackie will work with our client to determine what their priorities are and plan the application process around these. For Bass and Flinders, it was to be operational on their new site as they transitioned from their previous location. To be open and accessible to their customers; so this became the focus for the initial planning application.
A new landscape
Coming into the Dromana Industrial Estate after the breweries and rum distilleries were starting to make their mark presented both
opportunities and challenges. It worked to Bass and Flinders advantage in terms of the area becoming a hub for visitors both new and
repeat. However, with the increase in activity and traffic, we also needed to work with council around the potential planning issues they
had for the application.
As a result, car parking variations needed to be made. Working with Council we created a unique opportunity for increased public infrastructure through the provision of a new footpath which also enabled Bass and Flinders to increase their patronage by relying upon on street car parking.
The application also presented modest operating hours, that took into account industrial area working periods. With these considerations in place, their planning permit was secured.
The next chapter
Whilst the initial permit for the new location did not grant the operating numbers they originally desired, it got them operational. They were open for business and production could commence, ensuring their viability needs were met.
Our application with Bass and Flinders took 12 months from lodgement to opening. We worked with the team while they were still at their Red Hill location to ensure a seamless transition to their new Dromana premise, supporting the team to get the new location open and thriving.
Jackie continues to support the business through amendments to their planning permit working to align their business objectives with visitor expectations, whilst keeping planning considerations top of mind.