Bass Coast,

Council Comments On Plan Melbourne

Bass Coast Shire Council voiced its support for the draft Plan Melbourne, but also asked for greater emphasis on renewable energy and sustainable housing when its Draft Bass Coast Submission was adopted at this week’s meeting.

Council’s Planning and Environment Director, Hannah Duncan-Jones, said that while the Plan builds on Council’s strategy for the Shire and the Regional Growth Plan, Council’s submission detailed a number of key points that could be improved.

“Overall, Council supports the vision and key objectives and directions identified in Plan Melbourne which has built on a number of policy objectives and initiatives such as activity centres, growth corridors and settlement boundaries,” Ms Duncan-Jones said.

“The greatest concern with a strategic document of this magnitude is how its objectives and strategies will be prioritised.

“Who will be the winners and losers and how do we ensure that Plan Melbourne, Regional Growth Plans, and Local Planning Policies provide greater certainty and direction for the community.

“It is a matter of having the policy framework integrated and not tangled.”

Some of the key points Council listed in its submission include:

  • how to plan for and protect viable agricultural land, particularly in the peri-urban locations
  • the need to maintain the competitiveness of employment land in not only Melbourne’s growth areas, but in each of the regional centres identified in Plan Melbourne.
  • the outcomes and objectives around ‘housing choice and affordability’ seem to imply that by fixing the Urban Growth Boundary it will drive housing demand to the peri-urban and regional locations.  This is a relatively simplistic view, with home purchasers (particularly families) also looking at schooling, health services, and transport services as well as affordability and choice.
  • the Plan lacks vision in regards to renewable energy and sustainable housing, with Council suggesting renewable energy as an industry opportunity for regional Victoria to support the economic development of Melbourne

Council will now advise the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure of its decision.