Plan change

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 17-Jun-2016

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Affordable housing is a priority.
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PLANNING minister Richard Wynne has approved changes to the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme to help protect and enhance heritage buildings and reduce permit requirements for owners.

Developed by council staff, the changes mean that minor planning matters will no longer require a planning permit as long as conditions are met, for example swimming pools and decks located in backyards and minor extensions at the rear.

The council estimates there will be up to 25 per cent fewer planning permits required in a heritage overlay as a result of this change.

New Heritage Design Guidelines have also been introduced to assist property owners to protect and enhance local historic buildings.

The guidelines provide advice on the Miner’s Cottage (1850-1875), Bendigo Boom/Victorian (1870-1901), Federation (1901-1918) and Inter-War (1918-1939) architectural styles found across Greater Bendigo.

They aim to help property owners understand the heritage significance of their property and the types of development that may be supported, assist with the planning process for buildings protected by a heritage overlay, and encourage good design that maintains and protects heritage assets. 

They also help conserve the distinct historic character of Greater Bendigo.

There is also specific design advice on additions and alterations, subdivision, car parking, external paint and finishes, fences, demolition, solar energy facilities and service units, and infill development.

Heritage Advisory Committee chairman, councillor Peter Cox, said the amendments to the planning scheme attracted praise from the state government.

“The minister for planning congratulated the council on undertaking this heritage work to strengthen policy and to balance protecting heritage values with facilitating development,” Cr Cox said.

“The 1850s gold rush triggered a period of extraordinary development in Bendigo and set it up to be a wealthy and civilised city. Today, many buildings remain that aptly represent our rich history.

“It is important these buildings continue to be used but many of us do not want to be without modern conveniences, so these guidelines are a way to ensure we continue to celebrate and live with our history and not lose it.”

To view the guidelines visit www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/heritage

The Draft Eaglehawk Station Precinct master plan has been released for community feedback, just weeks before the start of Bendigo Metro and extra services to Eaglehawk Station. 

Member for Bendigo East and minister for public transport, Jacinta Allan, joined the council yesterday to unveil the draft master plan, which sets out a blueprint for future development of the station in Bendigo’s growing
north-west. 

The master plan outlines design, land use and infrastructure improvements for the precinct, and improved access between the station and surrounding areas with more car parking and better bus, walking, cycling connections. 

The master plan has been developed by the City of Greater Bendigo, with the state government contributing $30,000 as part of the Transport Investing in Regions initiative. 

  

The Housing Industry Association has urged the federal government and the opposition to commit to actions targeting housing supply constraints in their election platforms. 

“Providing affordable homes to house our growing, ageing and increasingly diverse population requires more than one line references about increasing supply,” HIA‘s Graham Wolfe said. 

“Providing affordable homes that cater for families large and small, in capital cities and regional centres, in city centres and their suburbs requires vision and planning.

“We don’t have a national housing plan.

“Successive federal governments have failed to coalesce the roles, responsibilities and endeavours of state, territory and local governments. Governments at all levels, and their well-intentioned agencies, work outside of a national housing strategy. They don’t act in unison, towards a national goal.” 

Mr Wolfe said the current situation was like “attempting to piece together a jigsaw puzzle without knowing the image or landscape”.

“An incoming federal government must do better. It needs to provide national leadership and vision, and the resources to support better targeted initiatives to increase the supply of both private and public housing,” he said. 

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