VICTORIAN Planning Minister Matthew Guy last week announced approval of the Mornington Peninsula Planning Statement (MPPS), which is one of four local planning statements being introduced to guide the future planning and development of key regions around Victoria.
Mr Guy said the policy, which is due to be gazetted this week, will guide decision-making by all government departments and public authorities and ensure that the Peninsula's unique character is protected for future generations.
"The Peninsula is one of Melbourne's greatest assets, with areas of national and international conservation significance, and a substantial and diverse local economy. Its protection is not only critical for the local community but for the future liveability, sustainability and prosperity of the wider metropolitan region," Mr Guy said.
According to the Minister, the new policy provides for a clear separation of the Mornington Peninsula from metropolitan Melbourne, preventing expansion of the metropolitan area onto the Peninsula and maintaining current settlement patterns.
The policy also seeks to integrate environmental, social and economic considerations and provide certainty for landowners and the community by supporting a strong land-use planning framework.
Member for Mornington, David Morris, said he was delighted that the MPPS had been approved.
"The development of a local planning statement has long been an ambition of mine. The election of a Coalition government in 2010 gave me the opportunity to carry the proposition forward, in conjunction with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, and the Peninsula community," Mr Morris said.
"The policy will ensure the Peninsula is recognised as a distinct and separate planning area, complimentary to metropolitan Melbourne but not part of it, and will protect its special character."
Describing it as a monumental moment in the history of the Mornington Peninsula Shire, Mayor Antonella Celi welcomed the approval and thanked Mr Morris for his advocacy and support.
"Our community should not under-estimate just how important the MPPS is to the Peninsula's future," Cr Celi said.
"Our residents appreciate the Peninsula as it is, they support appropriate development and new opportunities, but want to ensure the special look, feel and ambience of the Peninsula - the things that make us different from suburban Melbourne - are well protected.
"The State Government has recognised this, and through MPPS, has put in place the mechanisms to ensure the Peninsula's ongoing protection."
Localised planning statements are also being prepared for the Bellarine Peninsula, the Macedon Ranges and the Yarra Valley.
UPDATE 26/08/2014 - Amendment VC117 to the Victorian Planning Provisions was gazetted on 22 August 2014. The amendment introduces a new Clause 11.14 'Planning for distinctive areas' and includes the Mornington Peninsula Localised Planning Statement as a policy guideline.
More information about the Mornington Peninsula Localised Planning Statement is available from the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure website at <http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/planning/plansandpolicies/localised-planning-statements>.