Strategic Planning addresses Shoreham's strategic, statutory and heritage planning needs, consistent with the SCA's objectives. While the SCA’s focus is primarily on the needs of Shoreham and it's surrounds, in order to meet these needs we also engage with other coastal and hinterland villages on broader strategic issues of mutual interest through the Red Hill Ward Consultative Group.
Mornington Peninsula Green Wedge and Coastal Village Planning Issues
Coastal Villages Strategy
Mornington Peninsula Shire (MPS) is undertaking a Coastal Villages Study towards preparation of a suitable Strategy.
At the heart of this work is the definition and protection of the character of the Western Port coastal villages including Shoreham. We expect the outcomes of this work will be very important for Shoreham and note that the entire project is required to be completed by 30-6-2019.
The outcomes are to include a design and character framework for each village. These will inform future planning – how Shoreham will look, what specific planning controls will be put in place, the quality of our built environment, impacts on our landscapes and the response to climate change.
Climate Change is emphasised in the tender brief and we understand the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) has provided funds for the consultancy to ensure that aspect is included and given high priority. Understandably, the document seems to focus on sea-level rises and the effects on storm surges, inundation and so forth. Nevertheless, we believe the study will inevitably also need to deal with the broader effects as well - such as flooding rainfall events and elevated bushfire risk. All aspects are obviously very important to Shoreham.
The Shire’s project approach is to include three phases of community and stakeholder engagement. From our experience with analogous projects (eg the Housing and Settlement Strategy and the Green Wedge Management Plan), it is wise for respondents to be ready well ahead of time. Typically, it is difficult to organize a quality response within the time allowed. Also, there can be a tendency to funnel responses within specific constraints which can preclude other aspects we might have preferred to raise “outside the box” if allowed more time for consideration. We expect that Council will also make concerted community consultations ie not only rely on community groups like the SCA, to provide the main feedback.
Shoreham’s Neighbourhood Character
Shoreham has been described as the last true coastal village on the Mornington Peninsula. Shoreham village is a small, quiet township with a long history of settlement – originally, predominately by primary producers.
Today, Shoreham village is framed by the Green Wedge on three sides and the Foreshore Reserve along its coastline. It has a unique mixture of “bush, beach and green”. The foreshore features unspoilt, very walkable and safe beaches as well as a very attractive bush campground complementing nearby reserves. The Shoreham Community has been active in protecting the Green Wedge and is on guard in relation to proposed changes to the management of the Western Port foreshore reserves – not least because adverse impacts on either will inevitably deleteriously affect the village too.
Shoreham village and its hinterland are primarily residential properties, weekenders, farming properties and (too) few properties devoted to bushland conservation. Shoreham village is relatively unspoilt – it has been fortunate to largely avoid the development onslaught affecting nearby villages and townships, such as Balnarring and Flinders, and the population growth affecting larger centres.
The Community believes that Shoreham has a unique character that deserves to be strongly protected. In the Shire’s Housing and Settlement Strategy produced earlier this year, the Shire does not anticipate coastal villages providing substantial contributions to the region’s capacity for population growth. Our village was bypassed by the Hastings-Flinders Road making it unattractive to passing trade and leaving the village a peaceful oasis with low-scale commercial services and no traffic issues. Local streetscapes evoke a very strong rural feel - close to nature and our rural beginnings.
Fundamentally flawed development proposals resulted in the premature closure of the General Store following significant community opposition. The Post Office survives as part of a larger, recent cafè/shops/holiday flats development which has an indefinite future.
We believe that additional protection is required in the zonings that apply to the village. Currently, there is a small C1Z (business) zone covering properties in Byrnes Road, large LDRZ (Low Density Residential) areas covering parts of the old Buxton Estate as well as two large GRZ1 (General Residential) areas applying to the higher density residential areas surrounding the village core and the seventies development off the Hastings-Flinders Road.
There are potential problems in particular with the GRZ1 areas. General Residential zones are designed to meet the requirements of suburban residential settlements – not the requirements of areas that should be protected. State Government changes over the past two years to the definition of the general residential zones threaten to enable development projects that are in conflict with the neighbourhood village character. A variety of Design and Development Overlays have, so far, served to protect Shoreham through additional provisions. However, they are not immune from State Government changes. We understand elimination of DDO overlays has been considered by DELWP, though not enacted (yet...), over the past 12 months - in its quest for simplification of the planning schemes and streamlining planning approvals.
We believe the GRZ areas should be redefined to NRZ (Neighbourhood Residential Zone) which offers higher levels of protection, better able to protect village character. Furthermore, we believe it would be desirable for the Shire to develop schedules to the zone which contain neighbourhood character statements and objectives to be achieved for the various parts of Shoreham. We foresee these being part of a framework that would apply to other villages in the Shire.
Climate Change is accentuated in the tender brief and we understand the Department of Environment Land, Water and Planning has provided funds for the consultancy to ensure that aspect is included and emphasised. Understandably, the document seems to focus on sea-level rises and the effects on storm surges, inundation and so forth.
At first glance, the village of Shoreham seems “safe” from the most obvious effects of climate change such as sea-level rises given that the village is high above a cliff face. However, our beaches and foreshore are threatened. Furthermore, our cliff faces are unstable and quite prone to erosion. Our beaches are not only an important part of Shoreham’s character and local amenity, they provide habitat for locally threatened species such as the Red-capped Plover.
Furthermore, we believe the study will inevitably also need to deal with the broader effects of climate change as well - such as elevated bushfire risk and extreme weather including flooding rainfall events. Drainage within Shoreham is already a significant issue. Some drains cannot cope with minor rainfall events right now – so significant work will be needed to avert catastrophic flooding and erosion as climate change takes hold.
Ultimately, we expect building codes, road verge vegetation and power line management will need to change in order to deal with stronger winds, elevated bush fire risk and so forth. The challenge will be incorporating these changes in new building and retrofitting important changes to existing housing without destructive impacts on local village character.
Green Wedge Management Plan (GWMP)
Did you know that Shoreham (village) is completely surrounded by the Green Wedge - excepting the foreshore reserve and Westernport Bay ?
The Mornington Peninsula Shire released a draft Green Wedge Management Plan (GWMP) for comment on 22/6/2018 and the SCA has made a response.
On December 17, 2018 the Council will consider the Draft GWMP and submissions that resulted from the process to date.
This is the Council considering the draft GWMP and submissions to date and submissions at the December 17 meeting, it is not voting on the adoption of the draft document.
The final plan adopted by Council is likely to have significant impacts not only on our hinterland but also on the Shoreham village itself - because the Green Wedge surrounds us!
Other than its interface with 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 can be made to Council’s Forward Planning Committee on the 21st March 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. Next move is likely to be formal adoption of a final version by Council.
Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP)
As part of the Red Hill Ward Consultative Group, the Shoreham Community Association, in conjunction with other community groups in the Red Hill Ward, is in the process of challenging recent State Government changes to planning provisions. The changes could adversely affect the character of Shoreham and the whole of the Mornington Peninsula. Under a program of Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions, the State Government released the first tranche of changes in March 2017 and has called for a comments on a second set (which the SCA responded to).
The most important changes that became operative in March 2017, are:
An increase to the building height limit and number of storeys allowable in General Residential Zone (GRZ). Much of the residential areas of the Peninsula, including Shoreham, is covered by the GRZ (see the map below for Shoreham).
An increase in the threshold costs for development that can be fast-tracked through the VicSmart scheme. See https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/planning-permit-applications/vicsmart for more information.
For more details on the changes, please see: Shoreham Village Planning Issues.
What the changes mean for Shoreham
In 2014, the State Government ‘reformed’ residential zones across the state. The result was that most of the residential areas on the Mornington Peninsula were re-zoned General Residential Zone (GRZ). Much of Shoreham is now included in the GRZ (see areas shaded musk pink in the map below).
Shoreham is now divided into the following zones - (see map above):
Two residential zones – General Residential Zone (GRZ) and Low Density Residential Zone (LDRZ);
Two sets of properties in the Commercial 1 Zone (C1Z) – the new Post Office site development and three blocks on the corner of Byrnes and Prout Webb Road (presently housing and the former General Store);
Other zones – eg Special Purpose, Public Use and Reserve Zones.
A Green Wedge Zone (GWZ2) that surrounds the village.
The GRZ is the most affected by the recent amendments:
In 2014, the GRZ included a mandatory building height limit of 9 metres with a maximum of 2 storeys.
The amendments have increased those limits to 11 metres and 3 storeys.
The LDRZ and C1Z have not been changed. These zones have no mandatory height or storey limits – but see "Overlays" immediately below.
In addition, Shoreham is subject to the following "Overlays":
Design and Development Overlays (DDOs). There are 4 DDOs over Shoreham -
DDO2, DDO3 and DDO6 in relation to residential areas, and
DDO15 in relation to the two commercial areas;
Other overlays relating to landscape, environment, erosion, inundation, vegetation and heritage.
DDO2, 3 and 6 are intended to ensure that development is responsive to the environment, landform, site conditions and character of areas - in particular coastal, bayside and rural residential areas.
DDO2 and 3 both contain mandatory height limits of 8 metres and a 2 storey limit. These requirements cannot be varied with a permit.
DDO6 contains these limits but they are general requirements only and are not mandatory.
DDO15 contains a mandatory height limit of 8.5 meters and a 2 storey limit.
How do Zone and DDO Overlays fit together?
The DDOs provide control on building and development within the various residential and, in some cases, commercial zones. They are the strongest form of local control in the Victoria Planning Provisions, introduced by the Mornington Peninsula Shire (MPS), and were not changed with the recent State amendments.
Controls (eg over height) in DDO2, 3 and 6 have, prior to the amendments, fitted more or less with controls set out in the zones, but they provided more clarity.
However, since March 2017, there is a considerable discrepancy between the controls in the GRZ and those contained in DDO2 and 3 that overlay much of the residential areas covered by the GRZ - especially the difference between 8 and 11 metres and between 2 and 3 storeys.
Although it is hoped that the DDOs will prevail over the state amendments, there is now some uncertainty about this, due in part to the lack of community and local government consultation prior to the introduction of these far reaching changes.
Effect of changes elsewhere on the Peninsula
There are a number of towns and villages on the Peninsula, now included within the GRZ, that have no development control through a DDO. This means that much of the Peninsula will be open for 3 storey developments of up to 11 metres as-of-right.
This will undoubtedly have significant consequences for the whole character of the Peninsula and threaten the present neighbourhood/coastal/rural village character that is prized by residents and visitors alike.
It is difficult to clarify what specific effect these changes will have to Shoreham or the Peninsula as a whole. But it is clear that the changes to the threshold costs of developments processed through VicSmart will mean far more development will go ahead with no avenue for objection or appeal by those affected by development.
The combined effect of the changes to VicSmart and changes to the GRZ could have far-reaching and damaging consequences for Shoreham and the Peninsula.
If you have queries about the changes to the planning provisions please contact one of the following persons who represent the SCA Planning Sub-Committee:
Sue Boggan 0404 180 957
John McMahon 0411 142 731
Kathryn Shain 0457 203 630
Peter Renkin 0448 319 719.
Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Post Office Site
The Post Office development is well on its way after commencing in late August, 2016. It is more than ten years since the proposal for two three storey, two-bedroom aged care apartments with underground parking was proposed by an overseas syndicate for the centre of Shoreham. The proposal saw the formation of the Shoreham Village Taskforce (now part of the Shoreham Community Association) that fought hard to prevent the inappropriate nature of the development – see the summary of the Taskforce's achievements for more details . There has been ongoing liaison with the present owner to achieve a satisfactory result. The position will continue to be monitored.
Work is steadily progressing on the Post Office Site shops - latest developments being the development of car parking bays outside including disabled access to the Post Office.
We wish to acknowledge Leo Maher and the extensive and valuable time he gave to the Taskforce.
For enquiries please contact one of the SCA Taskforce members: Peter Renkin 5989 8818 or 0448 319 719; Sue Boggan 5989 8501 or 0404 180 957; or Rob Patrick 5989 8963 or 0408 429 944.
Shoreham Village Taskforce
Read the background to this group which has worked over many years to preserve the amenity of our coastal village.
Black Spot Commonwealth Government Roads Program
In mid-December 2015, the SCA Executive met with Minister Greg Hunt MP to gain his support for securing a Commonwealth grant enabling construction of safer road infrastructure at dangerous Shoreham road intersections. These dangerous intersections are where the Frankston-Flinders Road intersects with Nelson Street, with Byrnes Road (both north and south ends), Myers Drive, Higgins Lane and with Beach Road. SCA’s aim is to prevent the risk of a serious accident at one of these intersections - for example by the construction of slip/turning lanes at the Nelson Street intersection.
The Australian Government’s ‘Black Spot Program’ funding round for 2017-18 is now open. The program identifies high risk locations and funds measures to prevent accidents that cause death and/or injury.
During discussions with Mr Hunt, SCA was told he will support our application for ‘Black Spot Program’ funding. The SCA has made a Nomination for this funding that has been endorsed by the Shoreham Rural Fire Brigade. A letter of endorsement from the Mornington Peninsula Shire is also sought. Mr Hunt will submit the Nomination and supporting letters.
To date, no further information received. SCA has therefore requested another meeting with Mr Hunt to progress the matter. Recently appointed Red Hill Ward Councillor, David Gill, has also been alerted to our concerns so that he can progress the matter within Council.
Refusal of Planning Application to demolish heritage listed ‘Alavina’, 16 Beach Road
The owners of ‘Alavina’ sought Council approval to demolish the heritage-listed house in Beach Road. In 2013 parcels of land were removed from a larger heritage overlay area covering nos 14, 16 and 18 Beach Road, leaving the Shire to make a historical assessment of ‘Alavina’ and an assessment of the adjacent timber cottage. This has not been done and the owners are allowing the buildings to deteriorate.
SCA submitted an objection to the application to demolish based on the fact that:
heritage planning procedures were determined following an independent Hearing in April 2013;
MPS has not completed its task as set by the Hearing; and
restoring ‘Alavina’ will make it a valuable asset.
SCA has been told that Council have refused the application to demolish. The owners have the right to appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Former General Store Site
The SCA Committee recognises how important this development is to the Shoreham community. When draft plans were drawn up by the developer’s agent, the SCA Taskforce handed these to the panel of local Architects (advisers to the Taskforce) for their opinion. Late 2016, the Architects and the Taskforce met with the owner’s agent to discuss his drawings. It was agreed that the Architects prepare alternative designs.
It seems the developer and/or owner has put the site in the “too hard” basket for now - the issue being producing a design that would provide a satisfactory financial return for the developer while complying with community expectations and the requirements of the DDO15 planning overlay.
Recently, maintenance work (replacement of weatherboards and painting) was undertaken - indicating that there may still be life in the former General Store!
Red Hill Ward Consultative Group (RHWCG) and Residents' Association Meetings (RAM)
Red Hill Ward Consultative Group (RHWCG)
Shoreham falls within the Red Hill Ward of the Municipality.
The RHWCG brings representatives together for bi-monthly discussions in the Shoreham Hall. The Group’s name reflects our local government electoral ward which covers 75% of the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s area. Other communities directly represented include Balnarring, Balnarring Beach, Merricks Beach, Merricks Township, Somers, Flinders, Cape Schanck and Red Hill. There is also a representative from “Peninsula Speaks”.
The RHWCG helps to shape the collective future for the Ward by providing a platform for community associations to exchange information, network and discuss strategic issues. It enables discussion on a range of matters that can then be voiced at the Residents' Association Meetings (RAM).
Residents' Association Meetings (RAM)
RAM was an initiative of our former Red Hill Ward Cr Tim Wood - whereby all community associations across the Red Hill Ward could send representatives to meetings every two months to air and discuss matters of common concern.
Our current Councillor, David Gill, has kept the meetings going and we look forward to continue collaborating with our colleagues from other towns and villages in our ward. Submissions are made in advance of each meeting.
If you wish to raise matters of significance to the broader ward please contact the SCA representatives Alan Fisher (President, SCA ) or Sue Boggan (SCA Planning Sub-committee).