Council approves a revised precinct structure plan and development contributions plan for Maiden Gully

The Greater Bendigo City Council last night approved a revised Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) and Development Contributions Plan (DCP) to guide future urban development and important infrastructure for a growing community in Maiden Gully over the next 20 years.

The PSP proposes that most of the existing non-urban land in Maiden Gully to the north of the Calder Highway be rezoned to the Urban Growth Zone (UGZ) so that it can converted to the General Residential Zone at a later stage. The plan also outlines how development would be staged in this area over a period of more than 20 years to build a community with around 4,153 new houses.

A DCP would be applied to approximately 218 land parcels in the PSP area. Land owners who wish to subdivide or develop their land would be required to pay a contribution per hectare prior to the completion of a subdivision or development.

City Director Strategy and Growth Bernie O'Sullivan said the PSP and DCP provided an important guide on how development would be staged in Maiden Gully over the next two decades and the next step would be a proposed planning scheme amendment to incorporate these strategic plans.

"As Maiden Gully continues to grow, the City wants the area to remain a comfortable, attractive and safe place for residents to live for years to come, by ensuring that essential infrastructure such as main roads, footpaths, drainage, community facilities, play spaces and public space is well planned, funded and delivered," Mr O'Sullivan said.

"This is the second proposed DCP in the municipality after Huntly and this plan is the fairest way to ensure those who most use and benefit from the infrastructure are paying for it.

"Land owners within the PSP area who choose not to develop or subdivide, would not be required to make a financial contribution to a DCP, nor would land owners outside the PSP area."

As part of the PSP, the City is reviewing the extent and quality of native vegetation. The Maiden Gully Native Vegetation Precinct Plan is yet to be completed due to COVID-19 restrictions preventing a Melbourne consultant from carrying out the necessary fieldwork. Once completed and the PSP updated, the City will request authorisation from the Minister for Planning to exhibit a Planning Scheme Amendment that incorporates both the PSP and DCP.

Residents and landowners will be formally notified and will have the opportunity to make submissions on the proposal during the exhibition period and present their case to an Independent Panel appointed by the Minister for Planning.

The Maiden Gully PSP has been prepared by the City with assistance from the Maiden Gully Progress Association, several Government agencies, service authorities, community members and other stakeholders.

Last night's Council meeting also approved the Marong Township Plan to progress the first stage of a proposed planning scheme amendment. The plan establishes a planning framework and identifies four future residential growth areas to the west, south and east of the existing township. This land will be rezoned in stages, led by land developers when the land is needed for residential purposes.

To support Marong's growth, the plan also outlines essential infrastructure including new roads, upgraded intersections, shared paths, drainage basins and public open spaces. The plan also identifies an investigation area for a potential industrial business park, to the south-west of the Marong township.

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