The Thin Edge of the Wedge

Thine Edge of the Green Wedge

Click the red roof to watch the cartoon video    |     SPEAK UP and protect the Mornington Peninsula


Victorian Government Urged to Reverse Three Storey McMansion Planning Decision Threat to Mornington Peninsula Villages

All political parties should take a long-term planning view of the environmentally sensitive Mornington Peninsula region for the benefit of future generations.

The Mornington Peninsula, one of Victoria’s most environmentally sensitive and favourite holiday spots for Melburnians, could be over-run by urban development if all political parties do not take a long-term view and consistent action to strengthen the planning controls over the Mornington Peninsula.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is calling on the Victorian Government to reverse its push to promote three storey McMansion style housing throughout the towns and villages of the Peninsula.

The Council has also called on the Victorian State Opposition to release its policy on the issue.    

Cr Bryan Payne, Mayor of Mornington Peninsula Shire Council said “The introduction by the Victorian Government of three storey, 11 metre height limits in the General Residential Zone can now occur without a planning permit. The height changes are inconsistent with the character of the Peninsula’s residential areas.

Under the State Government’s approach three storey homes can be approved by a private building surveyor without Council knowing about or seeing the building application cutting neighbours totally out of the picture. 

Last year the Victorian Government, overnight and without consultation, changed the planning regulation to allow 24,000 housing sites (25% of housing within the Mornington Peninsula Shire) the automatic right to build new or renovate existing homes into three storey homes throughout low scale developed townships and coastal villages.

“This is a major mistake by the Victorian Government which does not reflect their own policy of protecting environmentally sensitive areas.

We believe the Department of Planning made this decision without understanding the impact it could have and no one has been able to explain the action.   

Villages and townships under threat from the Victorian Government’s blanket three storey housing policy include Capel Sound, Rosebud, Dromana, Mount Martha, Mornington, Baxter, Somerville, Tyabb, Hastings and Bittern.”

“In the future what this means for any of our residents in these areas is that they could find a three storey home being built next door or on either side with no ability to appeal.” 

This planning policy is The Thin Edge of The Wedge and is a clear and present danger to the long-term planning of the Mornington Peninsula’s residential environments because of the domino impact. This is experienced in Melbourne suburbs where existing houses are demolished and replaced by vastly oversized homes dramatically changing the neighbourhood.   

Cr. Payne said “The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is urging all political parties to take a long-term planning view of the environmentally sensitive region for future generations and implement strict planning controls which will protect the environment, character, economic and social fabric of the Peninsula.

“The lack of clear planning controls will not only impact on the residents of the Mornington Peninsula but also on future generations of the hundreds of thousands of Melburnians who visit the Peninsula annually for holidays or day trips.”

We need your support for Council’s call on government to take a long-term planning view of the environmentally sensitive region for future generations and to strict controls which will protect the environment, character, economic and social fabric of the Peninsula.

We invite you to write to the below to reiterate the need to protect the special character of the Mornington Peninsula and to emphasise that three storey houses are not appropriate.

The Hon. Matthew Guy MP, Leader of the Liberal Party, Shop 30D, Bulleen Plaza,  101 Manningham Road,  Bulleen  VIC 3105

Senator Richard Di Natale, Leader of the Australian Greens, Suite SG112, Parliament House  Canberra  ACT  2600

Fiona Patten MLC, Leader of the Reason Party, Unit 1, 747 Sydney Road, Brunswick    VIC   3056

Nicole Bourman, Secretary Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, PO Box 92, Moorabbin VIC 3189

The Hon. David Davis MP, Shadow Minister for Transport, Planning & Equality,  Level 4, 55 St Andrews Place, East Melbourne, VIC, 3044

The Hon. Richard Wynne MP, Minister for Planning, PO Box 1474, Collingwood VIC 3066

The following questions may help you in writing your own letter to the Minister.

You don’t need to be limited to these ideas.

  • How important is the ‘low-scale’ character of the peninsula to you? How does this character contribute to your sense of place and connection to your neighbourhood?
  • Do you think that three storey dwellings would have a negative impact on the unique character of the peninsula’s townships?
  • Do you think it is important that the peninsula retains a different character to the rest of Melbourne?
  • Do you think that the unique character of the peninsula provides something of value for Melbourne and Victoria more broadly? In what ways?

Email the Decision Makers

Council has taken another important step to protect our peninsula from inappropriate development.

Amendment C219 is a major move to protect the neighbourhood character of the Shire from recent changes in state planning that increase the allowable height of houses in the General Residential Zone from the discretionary 9 metres to the new 11 metre (three stories) limit.

The amendment will implement actions of our Housing and Settlement Strategy to ensure residential development is of a type and scale consistent with the function and special characteristics of the peninsula’s townships and neighbourhoods.

Council is awaiting authorisation from the Minister, and then the amendment will be placed on public exhibition for community feedback.

Our Housing and Settlement Strategy outlines directions for future housing and population growth over the next 15 years to ensure the unique values and character of the region are protected.

Housing is central to our health and wellbeing, and the Mornington Peninsula’s townships and settlements provide residential choices distinct from the metropolitan area.

We are planning ahead to ensure these critical attributes are properly protected by: 

  • Maintaining clear township boundaries and protecting landscape breaks which strategically separate townships and settlements
  • Designating and defining higher and lower density areas through planning zones and overlays
  • Providing for greater housing diversity within larger townships and ensuring all new housing is carefully integrated into the neighbourhood’s character.