THE Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) and Moorabool Shire Council have released for consultation a high-level vision that will direct the future growth and development of Bacchus Marsh.
With the population of Bacchus Marsh anticipated to double from 20,000 residents in 2017 to 40,000 by 2041, it is vital that a strategy is developed to guide residential and employment growth while protecting the town's significant amenity, the VPA said in a statement last week.
The draft Bacchus Marsh Urban Growth Framework (UGF) provides a high-level vision for Bacchus Marsh as a regional growth centre. The framework nominates future residential and employment growth areas and identifies the state and local infrastructure needed to support this community.
The framework suggests that an overall growth boundary will avoid urban sprawl and protect key environmental and cultural assets, including the Avenue of Honour, Lerderderg and Werribee Rivers and Long Forest Nature Conservation Reserve.
The framework proposes that Council and the State Government:
- Conduct future planning for the Parwan Employment Growth Precinct, which has the potential to be a base for a diverse range of agribusinesses;
- Plan for new self-contained residential neighbourhoods in Merrimu, Hopetoun Park North and a neighbourhood centred around the potential future Parwan Station;
- Invest in infrastructure projects to support growth, including roads, train stations, schools and parks; and
- Investigate planning controls that will protect agricultural land and cultural assets, such as the Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District and Avenue of Honour.
In regards to the Parwan Employment Precinct, the framework states that the area has the potential to support 1,200 agribusiness jobs, including in meat processing, mushroom growing and hydroponics.
The framework also acknowledges the importance of the proposed Eastern Link arterial road as an infrastructure priority. In mid-2017, the Victorian Government announced it was allocating $3 million to a corridor study to investigate road alignment options for this proposed new road.
The overall aim of the framework is to ensure Bacchus Marsh has the housing, employment, infrastructure and open space it requires to continue to be a great place to live.
Once the plan is finalised, it will be implemented into the Bacchus Marsh Planning Scheme. At a later date, more detailed precinct planning – including proposed rezoning of land – will occur.
More information is available from the Victorian Planning Authority website at <https://vpa.vic.gov.au/project/bacchus-marsh-urban-growth-framework/>.