CHANGES to the Mornington Peninsula Shire Planning Scheme under the proposed C219morn amendment could impact the size and scope of house extensions and unit developments.
If adopted, the amendment could trigger a drop in property values as the building footprint on new homes and extensions will be reduced as setbacks from side and rear boundaries are increased.
Community consultation for the planning scheme amendment closes 5pm, Friday 29 October. Submissions must be lodged by the closing date.
The shire says the amendment will “ensure housing occurs in appropriate locations and respects the special values and character” of the peninsula which is expected to have more than 200,000 residents by 2036.
It is projected that about 1200 new homes will need to be built each year to cater for the increased population.
The shire says the amendment will provide a “sustainable approach” to homes, units, apartments and aged care centres and direct housing to appropriate areas while protecting the peninsula’s “special values and character”.
Controls in the amendment cover building height and design, siting, landscaping and fences.
The shire says the amendment will simplify planning controls to “make them easier to understand and reduce the need for planning permits, particularly for a single house on a lot”.
“This means more applications will be processed under the building regulations, without needing a planning permit,” it says.
However, an industry veteran says C219 will “erode the very important set of building standards embodied in Rescode and adopted Australia wide”.
Paul Millsom, of McCrae, said claims that the amendment would improve efficiency, and reduce the need for planning permits, were “total nonsense and a smoke screen”.
“This amendment is supposed to be a road map to ensure there is sufficient housing in 2036,” he said. “It will do the opposite.”
Mr Millsom, a builder and architect on the peninsula for more than 40 years, said the proposed changes would “impose controls on every residential property that seem arbitrary, punitive, and of no use in solving a housing shortage, but that, in the process, may actually cost ratepayers a fortune to comply with”.
“I believe that the ‘character’ of the peninsula’s housing stock is, for the most part, intact, and don’t believe the perceived problems of over development and McMansions are so serious that there is a need for this complex amendment,” he said.
“Why change the current planning scheme for about two or four per cent of the properties that can or may actually make a difference to neighbourhood character?
“Every property will be impacted by increased side and rear setbacks which will create chaos for planning new houses and extension projects.
“While there is a need for controls, those that don’t achieve anything other than ensure town planning has total control, while making planning more difficult and costly for ratepayers, should be rejected.”
He said the “massive unexplained changes [will have] huge planning and financial implications for property owners” – even a drop in property values when a potential property buyer determines a planned renovation or extension may not now be possible on the reduced building footprint.”
The shire’s planning and infrastructure director Mike McIntosh said the proposed controls would direct the predicted housing growth to the “right locations, near existing shops, services and facilities, and ensure that development respects and protects the special values and character of the peninsula”.
“The amendment’s design requirements for housing may constrain development potential in some areas, while in other areas it may increase or maintain development potential.
“This may affect a person’s decision to buy a property. However, the design requirements are intended to protect and enhance local character and prevent inappropriate development.
“This may further increase the desirability of the peninsula’s neighbourhoods as unique and distinct from metropolitan Melbourne and, therefore, support property values.”