• ​Geelong Update – DAL Program for the Bellarine Peninsula: Submissions now open

    2020-05-21

    ​Geelong Update – DAL Program for the Bellarine Peninsula: Submissions now open

    The UDIA Geelong Chapter has met with senior representatives from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), along with the City of Greater Geelong, to discuss finalisation of the Distinctive Areas and Landscapes (DAL) Program for the Bellarine Peninsula. 
     
    DELWP are currently accepting submissions and engaging with stakeholders around the DAL Discussion Paper on the draft vision and directions for the next 50 years. Interested parties are encouraged to complete the online survey before cut-off on 31 May 2020
     
    DELWP will then release the Draft Bellarine Peninsula Statement of Planning Policy (SPP) that will include policies, a strategic framework plan and long-term settlement boundaries for public consultation that will include a written public submissions process. This is the key document to drive long term outcomes. 
     
    Critically, the Panel Report for Council’s Settlement Strategy (Amendment C395) is expected to drop in the next few weeks.  Council have advised they will digest the report for a few weeks before releasing it.  Council has also indicated that it no longer supports a further process as anticipated in the planning scheme and the Draft Settlement Strategy, for example modelled on the logical inclusions process, to consider expansion of key towns. 
     
    This means the DAL process will be the only planning process to determine growth and development for the next 50 years.  This has reinforced the importance of consultation on the draft policy.
     
    Some of the key issues we have discussed with DELWP and the City of Greater Geelong include:

    - The need to have opportunity to review and respond to the C395 Panel Report before the Statement of Planning Policy is drafted.  The deadline for submissions should be extended until at least 2 weeks after the C395 Panel Report is released to the public or otherwise DELWP should provide an appropriate window for members to make further submissions before the SPP is released.

    - The need for the draft SPP, when released, to have a well-developed implementation framework so our members can provide more detailed submissions on planning mechanisms and controls that are being considered.  This is critical, as we understand there will be no further opportunity through a panel or advisory committee to have submissions independently heard.  We understand that a planning scheme amendment to implement the SPP will be included in the planning scheme with no further consultation.

    - The need to ensure that no back zoning land occurs.  For example, land within an existing township boundary but not yet zoned for urban development should be allowed to be rezoned.

    - The need to provide for a proper strategic planning investigation into the merits of further expansion of towns like Ocean Grove, Leopold and Drysdale.  Any reports or criteria to be considered should be made public as soon as possible so impacted members can have adequate time to prepare submissions when the SPP is released.

    - The need to ensure that there are no unintended consequences for tourism related developments that may be appropriate outside town boundaries – innovative, well-designed and sited proposals should be able to continue to be considered on their merits. 

    Please click here for more information on the Bellarine Peninsula DAL project including information on how to make a submission.