Shire wants final say on land use

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MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire wants to protect the peninsula’s “unique landscape” by having the power to decide how much land is set aside for and commercial and industrial purposes.

The shire says projections for industrial and commercial land that will be needed on the peninsula are wrong in a plan prepared for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

In a submission to DELWP, the council says the amount of commercial floor space that needed on the peninsula by 2031 is overestimated in the draft Melbourne Industrial and Commercial Land Use Plan.

The shire’s submission criticises parts of the DELWP report as being confusing and wrong, especially when it comes to identifying land set aside for port related industries and what is needed in commercial areas.

It blames the state government for changing planning laws and allowing shops and supermarkets to operate within industrial zones.

The shire says the plan seriously underestimates the amount of land already set aside for port related purposes around Hastings and Crib Point.

It says the draft plan and makes only “passing reference” to the government’s choice of Bay West, in Port Phillip, as the site for the state’s next container port, with Hastings an “option in reserve”. The shire says some of the land set aside for port related purposes should be used for agriculture or conservation.

While the DELWP report says the peninsula will need to “target” an extra 171,000 square metres of commercial floor space, the shire’s own estimates says it will need 78,000sqm by 2036.

The shire says predictions in the draft plan should be used as planning tools rather than targets and would be better “directed” at metropolitan activity centres like Frankston rather than Mornington, Rosebud or Hastings which have limited access to public transport and face “significant environmental restraints”.

It says providing electric train services to Hastings would provide “significant benefits” to Victoria.

The mayor Cr Sam Hearn said the state government aims to put in place a planning framework to support state and local government to plan more effectively for future employment and industry needs, and better inform future strategic directions.

“Though planning for future commercial and industrial land supply is very important, for the peninsula, this type of development has the potential to significantly impact our unique and valued landscape,” Cr Hearn said.

“Our submission to DELWP seeks to protect the shire’s ability to manage industrial and commercial land use outcomes, while preserving the associated economic and infrastructure implications, as well as the valued character of our townships.”

The shire’s submission is available at mornpen.vic.gov.au/state-government-submissions.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 21 January 2020

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