Neighbourhood Character and Western Port Coastal Villages Strategy

Mornington Peninsula Shire (MPS) has released two documents from its consultant Ethos Urban for community consultation. These are the:

  • Neighbourhood Character Study and Guidelines

  • Western Port Coastal Villages Strategy

Drafts of both documents are now on public exhibition and we are all invited to have our say.

The end result will be a series of comprehensive Design and Character Frameworks for each Western Port township including Shoreham. These are intended to be used in assessment of Planning Applications submitted to Council.

What are these documents ?

Draft Neighbourhood Character Study (NCS)

  • Proposes neighbourhood character classifications throughout the Shire (in residential areas only).

  • Presents character statements and design guidelines for each of the proposed character precincts.

Draft Western Port Coastal Villages Strategy (WPCVS)

  • Seeks to protect and enhance the character of each Western Port coastal village including Shoreham.

  • Builds on the neighbourhood characters defined in the NCS.

  • In addition to residential neighbourhood character, this strategy extends to commercial, industrial and foreshore/local beach facilities.

  • Describes each village’s built form and character including a vision for the future.

  • Seeks to ensure that the future of the Western Port villages takes into account coastal erosion, sea level rise and storm surges due to climate change.

Had your say ?

  • Everyone was entitled to have their say on the draft documents - submissions closed on 7th July, 2019..

  • Key event dates were :

    • The Shoreham Drop-In Session on Saturday 29 June, 1.30 – 3.30pm at the Shoreham Old School Community Hall was well attended with many in the community taking advantage of the event to see what’s in store for their own properties and for Shoreham more generally.

    • The opportunity to "Have Your Say" on-line closed at 5pm 7 July 2019..

SCA Submission

Impacts on Shoreham

The Vision for Shoreham

Shoreham’s future is envisaged as (WPCVS, p92) :

Shoreham will retain its coastal village feel, represented by small scale buildings, unsealed roads and highly vegetated landscapes. New development will be low-scale, and concealed by substantial plantings in front set backs.  Shoreham’s coastal bush setting will be enhanced by retaining minimal access to the foreshore, allowing the foreshore’s dense native coastal vegetation to be preserved, and minimizing the visibility of development from the coast. The commercial centre will remain low key and informal.

Neighbourhood Character – Shoreham Residential

shoreham neighbourhood character.jpg
  • Shoreham is characterized by two neighbourhood characters:

    • Bush Coastal (medium sized lots, dense with coastal scrub and woodlands)  

    • Rural Settlement (large lots typically located outside of townships). 

  • Three “Precincts” (sub-types) are used  -  Bush Coastal 1 (BC1), Bush Coastal 2 (BC2 - less formal streets) and Rural Settlement 2 (RS2). Full details of these classifications are in the NCS report.

  • The consultants suggest signage at both ends of Byrnes Road as a “place-making” exercise at the town entrances.  We’re not so sure that’s a great idea and will follow up further.

Shoreham’s Commercial area: Coastal Village Strip

Shoreham commercial.jpg

Shoreham’s Commercial area is characterized as a “Coastal Village Strip” which may be confusing. The problems are that:

  • Only the two properties marked with an X (Post Office to the west and General Store to the east) have been used for commercial purposes for the last several decades. The other two properties are essentially residential.

  • The General Store is also currently used for residential purposes – though, it seems, may return to some commercial use soon.

  • The Post Office shops seem to be intended to become part of a single function centre.

  • In summary, there is no “strip”. We have raised this matter with the project team.

  • In any event, “Coastal Village Strip” indicates a low-key commercial area.

Shoreham’s Beaches

Shoreham’s beaches are characterised as “local beaches” with the general description:

  • Typically comprises sandy, low-key beaches complemented by coastal vegetation within an informal setting.

  • Undeveloped open space in a natural setting, often featuring areas used for informal recreation activities.

  • Development is limited to small scale local yacht clubs and boat ramps adjacent or on the shore line.

  • Access is informal and set amongst coastal plantings and native canopy trees.    

Climate Change Impacts

The scope of the WPCVS report includes:

  • Climate change impacts relating to sea level rise (specifically coastal inundation and erosion).

  • Managing development to retain and enhance township character in response to pressures for change.

  • The Victorian Coastal Strategy (2014), and the State Planning Policy Framework, both mandate planning for sea level rise of not less than 0.2m by 2040 for urban infill areas and 0.8m by 2100.

shoreham - climate change impacts.jpg

The green dotted line indicates erosion risks and the orange dotted line indicates inundation risk. We are following up why the erosion risks can occur so far inland given that the inundation risk hardly extends further than the existing coast line.

Inundation Risk

  • Although the WPCVS report on p14 says there is “No identified inundation risk” for Shoreham, we think that statement applies to the village and to water from the sea.

  • The report does note the “Potential for significant impacts on the platform beach, impacting the Shoreham Foreshore Reserve campground. Potential for increased landslides around the Hard Rock Cliff area.

Erosion Risks

  • Erosion risks are identified for foreshore, residential and / or public land within Shoreham (WPCVS p14).

  • The consultant recommends further detailed modelling and assessment be undertaken to clarify the erosion risk for Shoreham and other places.

  • The plan is to align the Erosion Management Overlay with the erosion risks. As things stand, this may affect private properties at the ends of Beach and Cliff Roads.

Out of Scope

  • The project does not address other climate change issues such as land based erosion (eg after extreme weather events), bushfire risk, food security, health impacts, salinity changes or loss of biodiversity/habitat.

Next Moves

  • Following the 6 week exhibition of the draft reports (web, have your say, drop-in sessions etc) which closed on 7th July, 2019, changes will be made for Council and DELWP approvals in due course.

  • The proposed adoption of the draft Neighbourhood Character Study and Design Guidelines & draft Western Port Coastal Villages Strategy were approved at the MPS Planning Services Committee meeting at 7pm on 14 October, 2019. As to be expected, Councillors noted with concern the points about inundation and erosion and sought clarity from Council Officers. There was also concern re the future effects on properties. and Council's position. Legal advice is being sought. DELWP does not appear to be providing further funding to assist.