Character vs population


A STRATEGY to determine how the Mornington Peninsula handles housing and population growth over the next 16 years – while ensuring the peninsula’s special values and character are protected – was adopted by council last week.

The Mornington Peninsula Housing and Settlement Strategy: Refresh 2020-2036 comes as the state government projects the shire’s population will increase from 161,520 at the time of the 2016 census to 200,360 in 2036 – an increase of more than 38,800.

The planning services committee meeting on Monday 20 July resolved to start the process of amending planning controls to ensure development better respects the peninsula’s valued neighbourhood character and makes it easier to build a new home or extend an existing one.

The mayor Cr Sam Hearn said adoption of the strategy was “one of the [council’s] biggest achievements of the past four years”.

“As a local council we have a significant role in managing the demand for housing and population growth on the peninsula, as well as ensuring the unique characteristics of the peninsula are safeguarded,” he said. “However, our role is to also make sure our residents have the ability to stay in the townships they love for longer. As such, we’ve worked to improve the process of building or extending … to make it more streamlined for residents.”

The council’s next step is to seek authorisation from planning minister Richard Wynne to prepare a planning scheme amendment to formally introduce the proposed changes into the planning scheme.

Planning committee chair Cr Antonella Celi said: “A key part of this will be engagement … to ensure the proposed changes are understood by the community and enable the community to have their say.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 11 August 2020


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