Revised Bendigo Industrial Land Strategy Gets Council Nod

A revised Greater Bendigo Industrial Land Development Strategy and Background Report have been endorsed at last night's Council meeting.

The original Greater Bendigo Industrial Land Development Strategy and Background Report were adopted by Council in June 2020. The strategic framework and roadmap identified a 30-year pipeline of future industrial land to meet industry needs, reduce land use conflicts and to plan for the future of Greater Bendigo's industrial precincts.

While it identified criteria for future industrial land supply, it did not go as far as identifying a site for additional industrial land supply. Since its adoption, the City has completed further detailed investigations and identified a 294-hectare site to the south of the Marong township for a future employment precinct to meet long term industry needs.

This site is now known as Bendigo Regional Employment Precinct (BREP) and the revised strategy mainly includes details of the BREP together with other minor changes.

Further investigation relating to the ultimate land use for the entire proposed BREP area is being considered by the Victorian Planning Authority.

The preparation of Planning Scheme Amendment C282gben proposes to partially implement the Greater Bendigo Industrial Land Development Strategy by making changes to the Municipal Planning Strategy and Planning Policy Framework of the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme.

Last night's Council meeting also approved the next steps for a draft Greater Bendigo Industrial Development Guidelines 2024 which replaces the Good Design Guide for Industry guidelines. A public exhibition on the draft guidelines 2024 is likely to be undertaken as part of the exhibition process for Amendment C282gben.

Other changes are proposed to the Industrial Land Development Strategy to ensure the strategy reflects the current state of industrial land supply in the municipality, including updating statistics and references to recent strategic work undertaken.

The most significant changes are:

  • The report identified a forecasted industrial land consumption rate of up to eleven hectares per year. The previous adopted Greater Bendigo Industrial Land Development Strategy 2020 forecasted the consumption rate at nine hectares per year
  • The updated Greater Bendigo Industrial Land Development Strategy 2024 refers to an additional industrial land supply total needed of between 170 and 270 hectares over and above the existing supply over the next 30 years. Previously the report stated 170 hectares was needed

Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said the Greater Bendigo Industrial Land Development Strategy responded to strong, continued demand for large scale, industrial land in our municipality and a significant shortfall in industrial land compared with other regional cities.

"Council and City staff have investigated and identified areas for potential development, to ensure an adequate pipeline of industrial land to meet the long term needs of industry. This is not only about trying to attract new industry to Greater Bendigo but to retain the many businesses already here that provide local jobs and are looking to expand into the future," Cr Metcalf said.

"As well as future land, there are also several historical issues with existing industrial precincts in Greater Bendigo. This includes challenges with industry being directly next to residential development or truck movements through residential streets.

"This strategy seeks to address some of these challenges over the longer term by providing recommendations for each of the existing precincts in Greater Bendigo. The delivery of the proposed Bendigo Regional Employment Precinct will provide much needed employment for a growing population in Greater Bendigo. The strategy has considered all relevant challenges and opportunities, and Council welcomes the new revisions and the clear approach for the next steps."

Council will now request authorisation from the Minister for Planning to prepare and exhibit planning scheme amendment C282gben to implement the recommendations of the Greater Bendigo Industrial Land Development Strategy (Amended 2024). Council will also seek endorsement of the draft Greater Bendigo Industrial Development Guidelines 2024 and enable its public exhibition during the same draft Amendment C282gben process.

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