Greater Shepparton City Council adopted the Toolamba Growth Plan 2020 at the July Council Meeting.
Toolamba is the first of Greater Shepparton’s townships to have its own growth plan to guide residential development for the next 30 years and ensure infrastructure and services are delivered in a timely manner to support expansion.
Toolamba was identified as an area of future growth in the Greater Shepparton Housing Strategy 2011. In addition to the potential impacts of the proposed Goulburn Valley Highway Shepparton Bypass, several landowners to the west of the township have expressed interest in rezoning and subdividing substantial tracts of land in recent years.
Council appointed Ethos Urban Pty Ltd to undertake preparation of the Plan in February 2019. Two rounds of community engagement were conducted, the first in May 2019 for preliminary input, and the second between December 2019 and March 2020 to receive feedback on the draft.
A number of agencies were consulted including Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, the Victorian School Building Authority, the Department of Transport, VicTrack, Goulburn-Murray Water and the Environmental Protection Authority Victoria.
In response to matters raised by the community, Council commissioned Mesh Liveable Urban Communities Pty Ltd to prepare the Toolamba Housing and Streetscape Typologies 2020 to accompany the Plan, which was also adopted by Council. The Typologies outline key aspects of the local character and provide guidance to ensure Toolamba’s rural identity is retained as the township evolves.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Seema Abdullah, said Council was pleased to promote sustainable and appropriate growth for Toolamba.
“There are a range of factors that are driving growth in Greater Shepparton, and the shift to remote working arrangements due to COVID-19 could see demand rise further,” she said.
“The Toolamba Growth Plan joins the physical, environmental and social aspects of the township’s future development, providing a framework that gives a degree of surety to residents, that growth will be orderly and cohesive, and provide benefit to the community as a whole.”
Council officers will now begin preparation of a Planning Scheme Amendment to incorporate the Toolamba Growth Plan 2020 and the Toolamba Housing and Streetscape Typologies 2020 into the Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme. The Amendment is expected to be placed on public exhibition towards the end of 2020 and to be finalised in late 2021.