Managing the Green Wedge protects our hinterland and also helps preserve the character of the village of Shoreham.
As our map below shows, the farm land around the village is all zoned “Green Wedge”.
The Mornington Peninsula Shire released a draft Green Wedge Management Plan (GWMP) for comment on 22/6/2018 and the SCA made its first response jointly with the Red Hill Ward Consultative Group and its second in our own right.
On December 17, 2018 the Council considered the Draft GWMP and submissions that resulted from the process to date. The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council then formally adopted the Green Wedge Management Plan.
Other than its interface with the Foreshore and Westernport Bay, the village of Shoreham is surrounded by farmland – all of which is zoned Green Wedge. The Green Wedge land around Shoreham buffers the village from surrounding areas and provides Shoreham its separate identity as a place. This surrounding farmland is responsible for Shoreham's rural feel and is a very important contributor to our quality of life.
Legitimate uses in Green Wedge areas include economic activities such as farming and tourism as well as environmental conservation including private conservation and both National and State parks.
MPS Council adopted an Interim Green Wedge Management Plan in September, 2012. After the HSS and C219 NRZ amendment discussed above, the GWMP is the next highest priority MPS Strategic Planning project – the call for initial submissions/comments was published on Tuesday, 27th February. MPS put out information on their website including background papers which contain revised recommendations on Tourism, farming, biodiversity etc. The actual GWMP plan has not been updated from the 2012 version at this point.
Oral submissions were made by the SCA to Council’s Forward Planning Committee on the 21st March, 2018 and written submissions were called for before the 5th April. The SCA joined with the Red Hill Ward Consultative Group in making a submission.
The new draft plan went to the Planning Services Committee meeting on Monday 18th June and has since been exhibited for comment. The SCA made a submission on behalf of the Shoreham community. The final version was formally adopted by Council at its meeting on 17th December, 2018.
We are told that a delay occurred because, in part, the Shire proposed changes to the GWMP which were agreed by Council at its Planning Services Committee meeting on 1st April, 2019 in response to submissions that were not previously considered due to a processing error at Council.
Unfortunately, this mistake included the second of the SCA’s submissions being overlooked along with 14 others. We were pleased that the Minutes of the meeting indicate that our submission was considered and reported in full detail and that several changes proposed by Shoreham were accepted.
Protecting and Supporting Melbourne's Strategic Agricultural Land
The Victorian Government has recently released (September, 2019) a consultation report based on interviews etc re Melbourne's Strategic Agricultural Land. It is very encouraging that the Minister for Planning has issued a press release recognising the importance of our agricultural land - something very important for the future of the Mornington Peninsula and our hinterland in particular. A quote attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne is:
“Once this farmland is gone, it’s gone forever – that’s why we’re re-writing planning controls to protect it.”
You can read about the review and the next steps here.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will be releasing a consultation paper early 2020 to present proposals to improve planning for Melbourne’s green wedges and agricultural land.
What’s Next ?
An amendment to include the GWMP as a reference document to the MPS Planning Scheme is under way.
The Shire is seeking authorisation from the Minister to prepare and exhibit an amendment to the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme to introduce a local policy Dwellings in the Green Wedge and Special Use Zones.