Planning help for new housing hub
THE City of Greater Geelong has asked the state government to step in and speed up planning for its future housing areas to the north and west of the city.
The council will request Planning Minister Lizzie Blandthorn to appoint a Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) to consider upcoming precinct plans.
The Northern and Western Geelong Growth Areas span 5,500 hectares across Batesford and Lovely Banks, and is the largest greenfield project in regional Victoria.
The city anticipates the area will eventually house 110,000 residents.
The council’s planning portfolio chair Kylie Gryzbek said the idea of the SAC was to produce timely and consistent decisions.
“The Standing Advisory Committee will deal with precinct structure plans, development contributions, a biodiversity conservation strategy and any associated draft planning scheme amendments,” Cr Grzybek said.
“The committee will ensure a carefully managed and coordinated planning and approval process to deliver on our Northern and Western Geelong Growth Areas Framework Plan.”
Geelong mayor Peter Murrihy said the committee would consider zoning changes and specific plans more efficiently.
“Our region is experiencing sustained and ongoing housing demand in urban Geelong and by choosing this path, we’ll deliver much-needed housing by streamlining the planning scheme amendment process,” he said.
“The community will still be able to scrutinise plans and have their say on the growth areas’ development.”
COGG its developing its first two precinct structure plans (PSP) for the area, and will produce nine in total for state approval.
PSPs outline how key community infrastructure such as schools, shopping centres, parks and transport integrate into the community.
The city will also develop biodiversity conservation strategies as part of its planning.