Mornington Peninsula Shire has unveiled a plan for a 192-hectare industrial area on the outskirts of Hastings.
The plan to provide enough industrial land for the next 15 years follows the steady loss of unoccupied industrial land across the peninsula.
The Draft Mornington Peninsula Industrial Areas Land Use and Infrastructure Assessment and Rezoning Strategy will be on exhibition for comment for six weeks.
The shire’s strategic projects manager Allan Cowley says that allowing a shortage of industrial land would lead to a “constrained” market, with high prices impeding the development of new businesses.
Due to changes in uses allowed in the Industrial 3 Zone, much of the shire’s industrial land has in recent years been used for such non-industrial purposes as “restricted retailing”, gymnasiums, showrooms, art houses, cafes and micro-breweries.
In a search for possible industrial areas, consultants hired by the shire focused on land at Somerville, Tyabb and Hastings, adjacent to large areas already set aside for “port related uses”. Members of the consortium of consultants were Hansen Partnership (planning), Urban Enterprise (economics), WSP (infrastructure), and Irwin Consulting (traffic).
The preferred site of the new industrial area is opposite the intersection of Graydens and Frankston-Flinders roads, west of the Frankston to Stony Point rail line and extending to the south of Stuart Road, Tyabb.
The choice also factored in the shire’s now abandoned bid to establish a marine industry precinct near Somerville and the release of a development strategy by the Port of Hastings Development Authority.
Dubbed the Hastings Employment Precinct, the suggested new industrial area will be zoned to prevent retail-based uses such as supermarkets, gyms, and taverns.
“This is considered critical, both to ensure the ongoing supply of industrial land unconstrained by incompatible land use and to avoid out of centre retailing which would undermine the role of the Hastings town centre,” Mr Cowley said in a 15 June report to the shire’s planning services committee.
The first stage would see the release of 58 hectares, the second stage 32 and stage three 27 hectares.
The staged release was important to “promote orderly development”. Just how quickly this development occurred would be impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Cowley said choosing Hastings for industrial development “does not exclude the potential to identify further opportunities on the Port Phillip side … the aim of providing land which supports ‘jobs closer to home’ on all parts of the peninsula remains an important strategic planning objective”.