THE issue of city limits across the Bellarine has been finally resolved, with the state government releasing its final Bellarine Peninsula Planning Policy (SPP) statement.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Bellarine MP Lisa Neville announced the SPP – the end result of the Bellarine Peninsula’s Distinctive Area and Landscape (DAL) program – to a crowd of civic and community leaders in SLSC clubrooms of Ocean Grove on Friday last week.

The final draft SPP, which Ms Neville said would become law “as soon as possible” and “before national elections”, is nearly identical to the previous draft SPP released in late June 2021, with the only major change being the inclusion of the Le “Collendina Hotel” site inside the city limits of Ocean Grove, which Ms. Neville said was created due to favorable feedback from the community.

The policy sets out a 50-year vision for the entire Bellarine Peninsula and west to Moolap and the eastern boundary of Armstrong Creek, declared a Distinctive Area and Landscape in 2019.

It locks the boundaries of protected settlements for all townships, to ensure that Bellarine’s agricultural areas, landscapes, environmental features, small villages and towns are protected from inappropriate development and directs future growth to strategic locations. .

The final draft SPP, which Ms Neville said would become law “as soon as possible” and “before national elections”, is nearly identical to the previous draft SPP released in late June 2021.

“The community not only wanted the city limits – that was essential – but also a clearer idea of ​​what could be built inside those city limits, and it provides both,” Ms. Neville.

Mr. Andrews said he was delighted and delighted to release the final draft SPP.

“We promised to protect our iconic Bellarine Peninsula – and we’ve done just that, boosting the local economy and ensuring that locals and tourists alike can enjoy this beautiful part of Victoria in the future. ‘coming.”

The president of the Bellarine Combined Community Associations, Dr. Lawrence St. Leger, welcomed the finalization of the DAL process.

“It is the result, the artifact,

but it’s based on the habitability of the people in that area and their connection to the land,” he said.

“We have over 50 friend groups in this area, so a lot of people are already guardians, as well as the indigenous communities.

“Once you lose it, you don’t get it back.”

Mr. Andrews said he was delighted and delighted to release the final draft SPP.

Colony boundaries – particularly at Ocean Grove – and the degree to which they should be relaxed or restricted were hotly debated during the SPP exposure process.

As a result, former Planning Minister Richard Wynne referred the relevant public boundary submissions to the DAL’s Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) for independent advice.

The SAC recommended that the LAD not contain protected settlement boundaries, but the Government of Victoria did not accept this recommendation.

In a statement, new Planning Minister Lizzie Blandthorn said the advice and recommendation from the Department of Environment, Lands, Water and Planning was not to accept the SAC’s recommendation.

“We have heard from the community and we need to stop the gradual shift that has happened over time which is impacting the distinctive attributes and characteristics that the community cares about. The best way to stop this is to protect settlement boundaries,” she wrote.

To read the final draft SPP and other DAL program documents, go to engage.vic.gov.au/project/distinctive-areas-and-landscapes-program/page/bellarine-peninsula