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18 June 2018

The Mornington Peninsula – Proposed New Residential Zones

The Mornington Peninsula is a wonderful asset that should be protected and enhanced. Because of its natural and man-made assets, and proximity to Metropolitan Melbourne, it has a very high rate of holiday dwellings. But it is also home to a growing number of permanent residents, enabling more self-sustaining townships that are not reliant upon the seasonable fluctuations of the holiday market (with the associated benefits for businesses and community facilities alike).

Through a system of Design and Development Overlays covering land in the General Residential Zone, the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme restricts where housing growth and urban consolidation can occur. Should it remain that way, or is there an opportunity to free-up the town planning restrictions to enable more substantial and sustainable growth in appropriate locations? The assumption is that you can’t have growth without compromising the very values that we all love about the Mornington Peninsula. But is this right?

The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is undertaking a review of the current planning controls affecting residential development. It is seeking authorisation to amend the planning scheme to slavishly roll out the Neighbourhood Residential Zone to land currently in the General Residential Zone. The Council says this is justified because the reference document Mornington Peninsula Localised Planning Statement 2014 states the Mornington Peninsula isn’t the same as Metropolitan Melbourne, and only moderate growth is appropriate.  It then seeks to back this up via the Mornington Peninsula Housing and Settlement Strategy 2017, which basically says predicted population growth can still be achieved within this modified zone regime.

Specifically, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is seeking to apply the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (Schedules 2-4) to all sites zoned General Residential Zone 1 in the Mornington Peninsula (with the exception of select areas within the Mornington, Rosebud and Hastings Major Activity Centres). The proposed Amendment was considered by Council on 5 February 2018 with no formal direct notification for residents in the Shire. It resolved to seek Authorisation from the Minister to prepare and exhibit the amendment (Amendment C219). The Minister advised the Council that “the most appropriate way to strategically justify where particular building scale and development should occur was through a housing strategy that considered the appropriate application of the residential zones across the Shire.” As a consequence the Council has developed the abovementioned Housing Strategy (December 2017).

By implementing the Neighbourhood Residential Zone the Amendment will limit development to two storeys in height (mandatory 9-10 metre requirement), with minimum lot sizes proposed to be prescribed. The Amendment also seeks to amend various DDO requirements to allow for them to be consistent with the proposed zoning. We note the following:

Neighbourhood Residential Zone 2 – Township Neighbourhood Areas

  • Minimum Lot size for subdivisions of 300sqm.
  • Variation to Standard B13 (Landscaping) – provision of at least one large canopy tree within the front setback and one canopy tree within the secluded private open space of each dwelling.
  • Variation to Standard A17 & B28 (Private Open Space) – Private open space of 80sqm consisting of 60sqm of secluded private open space with minimum dimension of 5 metres.

Neighbourhood Residential Zone 3 – Peninsula Wide Neighbourhood Areas

  • Minimum lot size for subdivisions of 450sqm.
  • Variation to Standard B13 (Landscaping) – provision of at least one large canopy tree within the front setback and one canopy tree within the secluded private open space of each dwelling.
  • Variation to Standard A17 & B28 (Private Open Space) – Private open space of 80sqm consisting of 60sqm of secluded private open space with minimum dimension of 5 metres.

Neighbourhood Residential Zone 4 – Residential Overlay Areas

  • No minimum subdivision lot size
  • No variations to ResCode (Clause 54 or 55)

We have previously been very critical of the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and the mandatory restrictions contained within.  The removal of the mandatory density requirements from the Neighbourhood Residential Zone was a step in the right direction, but the mandatory building height and ‘garden area’ controls remain a concern. And it would appear the Council proposes to use the minimum subdivision size option in the Schedule to the zone to achieve a defacto density limitation.

We are all for protecting the Mornington Peninsula. But great care, and detailed justification, is required before imposing the Neighbourhood Residential Zone on an area. We would strongly recommend that, if you have property interests on the Mornington Peninsula, you look out for this Amendment (when exhibited) and carefully review its implications.  

We hope there will be more direct notification than has occurred to date, but will seek to keep you updated. If you have any questions regarding Mornington Peninsula C129, please contact David Crowder or Alex Wade.

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