Amongst the reasons for choosing the site, the applicants said in their application, was its position abutting Melba Highway, which carries an average 58,000 vehicles per week. The site also provides postcard views, a rural aspect, and is big enough to accommodate the chocolaterie, horticultural orchards, parking and recreation spaces.
Marketed to council as an integrated major tourism experience, about half the farm will be reconditioned as improved pasture for cattle grazing, while another four hectares is proposed as wetlands.
A chocolaterie facility with manufacturing and sales facilities will spread over two hectares, while another 1.6 hectares will be garlanded as an orchard and horticultural garden with hundreds of trees, amongst them growing quince, apricots and almonds.
The Yarra Valley precinct, an hours drive from Melbourne, is popular with daily and weekend holidaymakers, and is renowned for its winery-based accommodation, often incorporating historic buildings.
Construction of the Yarra Glen chocolate factory is scheduled to start in April and be open for business by December.
On the other side of town in Ballarat, a rural landmark is set to be developed on what is now known as medieval theme park Kryal Castle. After failing to sell for many years the site sold in January to a consortium of local and Singapore based interests.