Baxter Township Structure Plan

What is this project about?

The Baxter Township Structure Plan is a plan to manage future change in the township of Baxter. The Shire is currently undertaking a number of structure plans for its activity centres, including Baxter Township, to guide future development and provide effectively for changing community needs. 

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.

Why is this project needed?

Baxter has many appealing attributes that contribute to its residents’ expectations of liveability relative to other townships in the Peninsula including public transport (train) and access to jobs both within and outside of the municipality.

The township also faces several challenges that include: 

  • The significant growth and investment that would be anticipated should Baxter be added to the electrified metro rail network and the added social and economic ramifications.   
  • Development pressure and the associated implications on the UGB and established rural character.
  • Increased vehicular and pedestrian traffic and, pending electrification, increased demand for off-street car parking and additional public transport services (bus services).
  • Lack of an identified and preferred future character for the township that reinforces the small-scale, semi-rural character of Baxter, and defines it as a destination itself separate to nearby townships of Hastings and Somerville.
  • The future role, function and direction of change anticipated for Baxter.

Baxter township

Baxter is a small inland township located in the northern region of the Mornington Peninsula. It has an area of 987 hectares, is 49.1 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD and accommodates a population of approximately 2,162 permanent residents. The township is predominantly comprised of a relatively flat, open rural landscape due to 91.07% of Baxter lying outside of the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). The remaining areas within UGB are mostly residential but include a small commercial centre adjacent to the Baxter Railway Station, which is located along the non-electrified Stony Point line.

In 2013, the Peninsula Link Freeway corridor was opened which provides a full interchange access at Baxter that feeds also from the broader catchment of Mt Eliza, Somerville and Pearcedale. This corridor dissects the Baxter township and provides significant convenient transport accessibility to the immediate region and beyond.  

Project status

The Shire has appointed planning consultants ‘Plan2Place’ to undertake the project. The project started in September 2018, with background research, data collection and analysis for the structure plan completed. This phase of work also included community engagement including a number of drop-in sessions to identify issues and opportunities for Baxter township.

The draft Structure Plan is now on public exhibition which will close on Tuesday, 26 February 2019. You can download a copy of the draft and make an online submission through the Have Your Say page.

Drop-in session

Date: Thursday, 7 February 2019, 6pm to 8pm
Venue: Baxter Community Hall, 211 Baxter-Tooradin Road, Baxter VIC 3911

Consultants and Council officers will be available at the drop-in session to answer any questions on the draft and receive feedback.

Further information

Phone: 5950 1010

Email: strategic.planning.projects@mornpen.vic.gov.au