In a submission to Planning Minister Matthew Guy, council said it supports many of the changes to provide more flexible planning zones. However some of the suggested changes will likely detract greatly from Bendigo’s look and feel.
The submission calls on Mr Guy to allow for more time to fully consider the implications of the proposed changes.
Council Planning and Development Director Prue Mansfield said the council had worked hard to retain the viability of Bendigo’s commercial centres, including village centres such as Eaglehawk, Strathdale and Kangaroo Flat, as well as the CBD.
Ms Mansfield said that allowing commercial developments, including supermarkets, outside these areas could threaten 150 years of town planning.
“Our centres are very well planned and have built on the significant legacy that our city’s founders left us when they laid out our city around 150 years ago,” she said.
“These proposed changes will encourage investors to look outside our commercial centres for development opportunities and this has the potential to impact on the long-term viability of these centres and the look and feel of our city as a whole.
“The council is also concerned about the proposed changes to industrial zones. The availability of industrial land is very important to our economic success. It is expensive to provide as it needs significant infrastructure to meet business needs.
“We are concerned about the risk of reducing industrial investor confidence and security in established areas, as well as putting even more pressure on industrial land supply in Bendigo.”
Ms Mansfield said the council was concerned with the ‘one size fits all’ approach being taken by the government and encouraged Mr Guy to make sure the changes did not have negative outcomes for regional centres such as Bendigo, which have very different issues than metropolitan areas.
Copies of the submission are included in the council agenda for Wednesday’s meeting which is available online at www.bendigo.vic.gov.au