Somerville Township Structure Plan

What is this project about?

The Somerville Township Structure Plan (adopted July 2019) manages future change in the township of Somerville. The Shire is currently undertaking a number of structure plans for its activity centres, including Somerville Township, to guide future development and provide effectively for changing community needs and aspirations. 

A structure plan is a planning tool that sets out a vision for the future development of a place. It establishes a planning and management framework to guide development and land-use change and aims to achieve environmental, social and economic objectives.

An essential aspect of the structure planning process is feedback from the community on how the area should evolve. 

A structure plan determines what is working well in an area and how this can be enhanced, as well as how the area can grow and change in the future. It provides clear strategies for how this can be achieved.

At its Planning Services Committee Meeting on Monday 15 July 2019, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council adopted the Somerville Township Structure Plan 2019.

Download: Somerville Township Structure Plan 2019(PDF, 49MB)

Why is this project needed?

A key challenge for the Shire is the need to balance the demands for urban growth and the preservation of the natural landscape and rural activity on the Peninsula. An approach widely used to manage such a challenge is to prepare a structure plan for each township. 

A structure plan is a planning tool that sets out a vision for the future land use and development of a place. It guides land use and development towards the vision by establishing a planning and management framework with environmental, social and economic objectives. A key aspect of the structure planning process is the reliance on community feedback in developing the vision and objectives for a place. 

The Shire has already completed separate structure plans for Mornington, Rosebud and Hastings. It now seeks to prepare a plan for Somerville township to ensure that the special and unique values of this township remain protected while accommodating appropriate development.

Somerville Township

Somerville township is located near the northern boundary of the Shire along the eastern coastline. With an estimated resident population of around 11,900 in 2018, it is the largest township along Western Port Bay in terms of population that is forecast to grow to 12,834 by 2036. 

While a substantial portion of the township is in the green wedge or set aside for port-related special purpose use, the urban area boasts a lively commercial-industrial core that is surrounded by residential land which decreases in density towards the edges. 

Its activity centre is regarded a large township activity centre with a relatively large commercial floorspace that is predominantly retail. Although the centre features both street-based and mall-based shopping, it exhibits a relatively poor integration between various components due to the physical division of the railway line.