BUILDING height limits and strict town boundaries will soon be introduced in the Bass Coast Shire, after the State Government officially declared the area as a Distinctive Area and Landscape.
Bass Coast’s now “permanently protected from over-development”, according to the State Government.
But for developers, builders and those wanting to build right now, it means nothing until the local council and the State Government can agree on town boundaries and building heights.
But the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, believes it’ll all be sorted out within 12 months.
He visited Kilcunda last Thursday morning to make the announcement, in front of local press and TV crews.
According to the minister, the declaration comes after extensive consultation with the local community and includes a Statement of Significance from the Bunurong Land Council outlining the cultural, spiritual and heritage importance of Bass Coast to the Bunurong People.
The State Government will now work “closely” with Bass Coast Shire Council, Traditional Owners and the local community to develop a Statement of Planning Policy.
The policy will outline a 50-year vision for the area, which the government says will protect and enhance significant attributes and specify long-term settlement boundaries for key townships to protect rural and environmental values.
“The declaration covers the whole of the Bass Coast; we think that’s really important,” said Mr Wynne.
He said the next 12 months are about establishing the ground rules to “ensure that the beautiful natural environment that we have here is protected for the long-term”.
Bass MP Jordan Crugnale also stressed the importance of the space between townships, and “that we value the amenity for everyone that lives, works and visits this area”.
Mayor Cr Brett Tessari said the environment is crucial to the economy.
“So, it’s crucial that this strategic planning is put in place to protect our environment moving forward,” Cr Tessari said.
“We’re experiencing massive growth. We’re expected to almost double in population in the next 15 years.”
Parliamentary approval will be required for any amendments to the policy.
The Bass Coast is the third area to be declared under the Planning and Environment Act 1987, following the recent declaration of the Surf Coast, and the Macedon Ranges in August last year.
State Government promises stricter planning controls in Bass Coast