The introduction of the Green Wedge Zone in 2002 officially reinforced the long term conservation of Victoria’s rural areas that was originally recognised in the 1970’s. The early focus was on directing residential growth towards transport corridors and this approach has been continually adopted within more recent planning strategies.
Most recently the State Government have published a ‘Localised Planning Statement’ for the Mornington Peninsula which further reinforces that the Mornington Peninsula will be planned as an area of special character and importance with a role clearly distinct from and complementary to metropolitan Melbourne and designated growth areas.
The Mornington Peninsula proximity to Melbourne makes the region ideal for tourism opportunities and agricultural enterprise. This combined with the ongoing pressures to accommodate growth on the Peninsula places pressure on the Green Wedge Zone.While the Green Wedge Zone itself hasn’t undergone significant modifications since its introduction, Council’s implementation of the zone has evolved in recent times. Greater expectations are placed on landowners to justify why a new dwelling is required with increased focus on the primary use of the land for a gricultural, tourism or environmental opportunities. A dwelling in a Green Wedge Zone is not a right, it must be adequately justified given the objectives of the zone and the proposed long term use of the land.
To provide clarity on their expectations, Council have developed a policy document, titled Interim Policy – Rural dwellings including bed and breakfast accommodation (June 2011). All new dwelling applications must be accompanied by a Farm Management, Land Management Plan or Environmental Management Plan that details how the long term use of the land will operate and why the proposed use of the land warrants a dwelling.
While Council’s interim policy is afforded limited weight by VCAT, it provides important information on the extent of information required for the lodgement of an application and to identity the key issues that Councilconsider in the assessment of any such appl ication. It is vital that a planning application for a new dwelling in the Green Wedge Zone is supported by a comprehensive planning submission and supporting information which addresses this policy and relevant planning controls to provide the best chance for a favourable decision by Council.
Lodging multiple applications for the use and development of a new dwelling within the Green Wedge Zone without a single application being refused, the team at Foresite Planning & Bushfire Consultants are well placed to prepare, lodge and manage your planning application.
Should you have any queries regarding how you would like to use or develop your land, please contact Jackie Prossor on 0409 100 433.