Council considers options to strengthen town boundaries

26 September 2017

Surf Coast Shire Council has considered a discussion paper that looks at how town boundaries could be strengthened within the shire.

Strengthening town boundaries is identified as a key initiative in Council’s Towards Environmental Leadership program and is also included as an objective in the Council Plan 2017-2021.

Specialist land use consultants Spatial Economics prepared a discussion paper that describes ways in which town boundaries could be preserved in the light of existing planning laws and policies.

One such requirement is that Surf Coast Shire Council is obliged under state law to have enough housing land to accommodate 15 years supply.

The discussion paper recommends a number of actions for the Council:

  • Prepare an updated housing and land supply report to the state government

  • Undertake studies of the Thompson Valley and the area between Torquay and Bellbrae to justify these areas as being suitable for protection as green breaks

  • Develop a long term settlement strategy for the shire

Council’s Planning and Development department is committed to doing an updated land supply report this year. The second and third actions will be referred for consideration in the 2018/219 budget.

Surf Coast Shire Mayor Cr Brian McKiterick said strengthening town boundaries was an important subject for the community.

“A key theme to emerge from the Council Plan, and the work we’ve done through our Towards Environmental Leadership program, is to maintain township identities and preserve green space between towns,” said Cr McKiterick.

“Whilst growth is important to ensure our townships remain sustainable council is keen to avoid inappropriate sprawl and protect the environmental values and character of our shire,” he said.

“The discussion paper details what the Council could do within the current planning system and laws to achieve the aim of strengthening town boundaries while also meeting demand for growth.

“Some actions Council can commence in the current budget year whilst others would require future funding because of the scale of the work involved,” he said.

The Mayor said planning officers from Surf Coast Shire would continue to work closely with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the City of Greater Geelong and G21 on an integrated approach to urban growth in the region that supports stronger town boundaries and green breaks.

View the discussion paper - Potential Mechanisms for Managing the Torquay/Jan Juc Town Boundary 2017.