A draft Statement of Planning Policy for the Bellarine Peninsula has been referred to an Independent Standing Committee by Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
The committee will advise on whether the protected settlement boundaries in the draft SPP are appropriate and whether amendments to those proposed boundaries should be made.
Key features of the draft SPP include strategies to protect green breaks and agricultural land in declared area and proposes new settlement boundaries − limiting townships and stopping urban development from encroaching on productive agricultural areas.
The Victorian Government declared the Bellarine Peninsula a ‘distinctive area and landscape’ in 2019, recognising its charming coastal environment, unique green spaces, local producers and lifestyle were under pressure from urban development.
The declaration triggered the need for a Statement of Planning Policy for the area, to ensure significant landscapes, environmental and cultural values of the area will be protected and enhanced now and in the future.
The policy is a high-level strategic planning document that will guide the future use, development and management of land in the Bellarine Peninsula declared area over the next 50 years.
It was developed in collaboration with the Wadawurrung, the Borough of Queenscliffe, the City of Greater Geelong and following extensive consultation with community and industry, and is expected to be finalised by mid-2022, subject to the outcomes of the Committee process.