Mornington Peninsula Planning

The Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme sets out policies and provisions for the use, development and protection of land in the Mornington Peninsula. Each municipality in Victoria is covered by a planning scheme. These are legal documents prepared by the local council or the Minister for Planning and are approved by the minister.

The Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme (MPPS) was introduced in May 1999, replacing the former Mornington, Hastings and Flinders planning schemes. The new scheme is based on the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPPs). The strategic justification for the MPPS is set out in the State Planning Policy Framework and the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS). Council is required to review the MSS every four years.

View the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme Online.

Strategic Planning Objectives

 Although Council seeks to achieve a number of objectives through the Planning Scheme, the issues that are central to the planning scheme include the following:

Preventing urban or rural residential sprawl on the Peninsula

The Peninsula is not designated as a metropolitan growth area under state government policy and is not primarily intended to accommodate demand for housing. The boundaries for future township growth on the Peninsula are well defined in the Planning Scheme and Council will not support ad hoc fringe expansion. The township strategy will be examined as part of the general review of the Planning Scheme, which is required every three years. Due to concerns regarding fragmentation of land ownership as a barrier to proper land management and the increased pressure this produces on continuing rural land use, Council also opposes subdivision in rural areas, except in very limited circumstances.

Design of development which is responsive to site conditions and the character of the local area

Many areas within the Peninsula townships have a special character, due to the landform, vegetation or pattern and density of existing development. Other areas face limitations on further development due to environmental sensitivity or lack of infrastructure. Council has identified a number of these areas through Design and Development Overlays and Vegetation Protection Overlays. The local schedules to these overlays include subdivision, siting and design provisions. These provisions are intended to manage the potential impact of cumulative development and to protect the character of the area and the amenity that is shared by residents and visitors.

Supporting township commercial development

The town centres on the Peninsula are more than a collection of shops; they are community activity centres, often with a distinctive character and function within the Peninsula’s commercial hierarchy. Council seeks to ensure the vitality of the existing commercial centres as a means of promoting access to a wide range of goods and services, as well as providing security to encourage continued private and public investment. The areas provided for future commercial development under the Planning Scheme are intended to reflect the future capacity of townships to support a definite level of commercial floor space. Any proposals for new development outside of this framework would need to carefully assess the impact on existing towns’ centres and have regard to areas already committed to future development.

Maintaining separation between potentially incompatible land uses and retaining the potential for future port development

A major aspect of planning for the Peninsula involves retaining the potential for port development associated with the deep water shipping channels in Western Port. On this basis, a substantial area is included within a zone that facilitates port related development and supplementary policies seek to prevent urban encroachment adjacent to the potential port area that could result in future land use conflicts. Other policies within the scheme emphasize the need to carefully consider the location of intensive rural activities, such as broiler farming, to avoid land use conflict.

Protecting the rural landscape

A number of provisions in the scheme aim to protect the landscape quality of the Peninsula, including the green breaks which define the edge of existing townships/settlement areas. Significant Landscape Overlays apply to many rural /coastal areas and the Design and Development overlays also include landscape objectives. Commercial development along main roads would have a significant impact on the Peninsula’s landscape and recreational value and therefore is generally opposed in local policy.

Supporting sustainable agriculture

Although the economic viability of traditional agriculture is a major concern, the Peninsula achieves above average returns per hectare and has a combination of soils and climate that is highly productive. Council also views agriculture as a land use that can be consistent with other planning objectives and provides a means to achieve sustainable long-term land management. It is recognised that many landowners value land on the Peninsula for its location, landscape and lifestyle opportunities – but Council also seeks to support productive use of rural land.

Promoting retention of habitat and bio-diversity

The Peninsula includes areas of international, national and regional conservation value. A primary aim of the Environmental Significance Overlays is to protect the natural systems of the Peninsula and to recognise the linkages between environmental elements e.g. the role of remnant vegetation in maintaining land stability, protecting stream water quality and providing habitat areas. Where proposals may impact on natural systems it is critical to demonstrate net environmental benefit.

Encouraging informal recreation

One of the Peninsula’s key values from a State perspective is as a recreational area that complements the urban growth corridors of metropolitan Melbourne. However, the type of recreational opportunities provided must be compatible with the character of the Peninsula and should not dominate or detract from the existing sense of place. The provision of recreational facilities will not justify a development proposal that is contrary to other planning objectives unless substantial net community and environmental benefit can be clearly demonstrated. Council policy particularly supports recreational activities which are linked with the historic, agricultural, environmental, and landscape features of the Peninsula.

Further information

To learn how to understand the planning scheme, consult A Guide to the Planning System.  

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) provides further information about amending Planning Schemes:

All historical planning scheme information can be viewed free of charge online at Planning Scheme Histories.