Have your say on the draft Settlement Strategy until 22 June 2018
Have your say on the draft Settlement Strategy until 22 June 2018

Community invited to have their say on future direction on housing growth

Monday, 14 May 2018

The City has undertaken a comprehensive review of settlement and housing policies and developed a draft Settlement Strategy to guide housing growth and development over the coming decades.

On Tuesday night council resolved to release the draft strategy for community consultation until Friday 22 June 2018.

The Settlement Strategy is a planning framework to ensure the municipality can meet the region’s housing needs to 2036. It directs where growth and development should occur and guides sustainable urban development.

A key direction of the draft Settlement Strategy is that the majority of future housing needs be provided through urban infill, Armstrong Creek and the Northern and Western Geelong Growth Areas.

Another key direction is that the share of new development on the Bellarine should decline over time to preserve its character.

To implement these directions the City will pursue permanent settlement boundaries through state planning legislation to set clear limits on where housing development can occur based on existing planned areas. A consultation process will be undertaken to review the existing boundaries and deal with any significant anomalies or logical inclusions.

Other key directions include:
• Facilitating infill development to increase the housing supply contribution from 35 per cent to 50 per cent by 2047.
• Supporting the population target of 10,000 people in central Geelong by 2028.
• Maintaining the extent of rural hamlets: Breamlea, Ceres and Anakie.
• Rescinding the Anakie Structure Plan 1996, as environmental constraints in the area make further residential development undesirable.
• Limiting rural living developments to existing zoned land in Lara, Drysdale/Clifton Springs, Wallington, Waurn Ponds, Lovely Banks and Batesford nodes.
• Defining the process to manage the timing and release of the Northern and Western Geelong Growth Areas.
• Maintaining the unique identity of Geelong including the preservation of non-urban breaks.

Six background papers and an issues paper were prepared to inform the draft Settlement Strategy. These were publicly exhibited in July 2017 and feedback was considered in the development of the draft strategy.

Quotes attributed to City of Greater Geelong Mayor Cr Bruce Harwood:

Geelong is growing at a faster rate than the rest of Victoria. The expected growth rate of 2.5 per cent would see the population increase by 153,000 to 388,000 by 2036.

This creates demand for an extra 73,000-plus dwellings, with the added pressure to provide high quality community infrastructure such as sportsgrounds, kindergartens, etc. We need to be clever about how we cater for this growth.

While we have existing policies and strategies relating to settlement and housing, this is the first time we have had a municipal-wide approach that brings all issues together.

Quotes attributed to Councillor Jim Mason, Chair, Sustainable Development Portfolio:

The Settlement Strategy is a reflection of Council’s progressive One Planet certification and reflects important characteristics of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The Bellarine makes up just over a quarter of Greater Geelong’s total housing stock, yet over the past 10 years it has provided almost 40 per cent of all new housing development. This demonstrates the further urgency required in making sure there is an even spread of development and a broader choice of housing locations for potential buyers.

The strategy recognises that the Bellarine is nearing its limit, and instead directs growth to Armstrong Creek, the new Northern and Western Geelong Growth Areas and urban infill, with a key focus on high quality design and respecting neighbourhood character.

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