Submissions have closed on the Spring Creek Precinct Structure Plan

Following the former Minister for Planning’s decision to rezone land 1km west of Duffields Road in Torquay for future urban growth, Surf Coast Shire Council has been working with the community, Spring Creek landowners and government agencies to develop a Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) for the land. The PSP is a long term plan that describes how the land is expected to be developed for residential, commercial and open space purposes and identifies the physical and community infrastructure needed to support development.

The Draft PSP was placed on public exhibition from 26 May to 27 June 2016. Council received 80 submissions, which were considered by an independent Panel appointed by the Minister for Planning. The Panel conducted public hearings in November and provided a report with its recommendations to Council in January. Council considered the report of the Panel at the March Council meeting. Council resolved to accept some recommendations, reject others and commit to undertake further work on the remaining ones. The further work will investigate matters relating to stormwater and drainage infrastructure, biodiversity and native vegetation, open space, densities around the proposed shopping centre and Christian College school, and bushfire risk. Once these investigations have been completed, Council will finalise the PSP and consider whether to adopt Amendment C114 and forward it to the Minister for Planning for approval.

The minutes of the Council meeting and Council’s position on each panel recommendation can be viewed on the Surf Coast Shire Council website.

Background

The Spring Creek precinct covers an area of 245 hectares, bound by Grossmans Road in the north, Great Ocean Road in the south and farming land in the west. The PSP has been developed with a view to reaffirming a permanent western town boundary.It seeks to achieve this by having no roads on the western edge of the precinct with larger residential lots with 20 metre rear building setbacks along the boundary.

The plan has been developed following a series of recommendations from a community panel in 2015, which responded to the question: “How do we design urban growth that is in balance with the surrounding environment?” For more about the history of the process and Council’s response to the panel’s recommendations, click here.

The plan includes more than 57 hectares of open space and conservation areas, including a 75 metre setback either side of the 10-year flood level along Spring Creek and wildlife corridors along all waterways.

In other measures, the plan:

  • Promotes passive solar orientation of housing lots to encourage energy efficiency.
  • Has been developed to protect as many stands of Bellarine Yellow Gum and individual trees as possible, while vegetation offset requirements are identified for any trees removed as part of future development.
  • Retains existing roadside vegetation along Duffields Road, Grossmans Road and the Great Ocean Road.
  • Seeks to provide a variety of lot sizes and housing options to suit a range of prospective residents.
  • Provides a comprehensive network of pedestrian and bicycle paths, including on both sides of Spring Creek, linking open space areas within the precinct and beyond towards Torquay’s CBD.
  • Introduces residential design controls throughout the precinct that mandate minimum setbacks, maximum site coverage, minimum area available for planting, fences and the use of retaining walls. The controls also specify a preferred maximum building height of 7.5 metres.
  • Provides services like small-scale retail and community spaces within the precinct to reduce the need for car travel.
  • Maintains a green break between Torquay and Bellbrae.