Somerville Township Structure Plan

What is this project about?

This project is about identifying the current and emerging issues, and opportunities that relate to the Somerville township, and developing a structure that would provide for the form of development, land use and key services, among other things, that are appropriate to the vision for the township.

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. 

Other issues pertaining to the township include:

  • anticipated development pressures following the potential extension of the electrified metro railway network to Baxter;
  • the need to respond to the impacts associated with the designation of nearby Special Use Zone Schedule 1 land as a State-Significant Industrial Precinct in Plan Melbourne 2017-2050, and future decisions pertinent to the future role of the Port of Hastings for Victoria;
  • increased industrial development and associated noise, traffic transport and emissions implications; and
  • lack of an identified and preferred future character for the township that reinforces its small-scale, semi-rural character and defines it as a destination itself separate to the nearby townships of Hastings and Baxter.

Project status

The Shire has appointed planning consulting firm ‘Plan2Place’ to undertake the required project tasks. Project inception took place on Monday, 17 September 2018. Background research followed by data collection and analysis to inform the draft structure plan are currently underway.

Drop-in sessions have been undertaken with the community to capture and enhance the attributes of the township that are most valued, improve aspects of the township and develop a vision to guide land use and development in Somerville into the future.

The draft structure plan will go out for public exhibition around March 2019 where you will have another opportunity to provide feedback. The Shire will advise when the draft is available for review.

Further information

Phone: 5950 1010