22 Jul Proposal for A Future Industrial/Technology Park In Mornington Peninsula
There are currently two separate planning projects being pursued with regards to introducing a future industrial/technology park to the Mornington Peninsula Shire.
Mornington Peninsula Shire have opened up an Industrial Areas Rezoning Strategy to the public for consultation which ends on the 3rd August 2020. This Rezoning Strategy has been prepared to support the adopted Industrial Areas Strategy 2018. Its purpose is to identify the best location for the industrial/technology park.
The second planning project is a private amendment that is being sought by Sealite and adjoining property owners to rezone some land to the south of Bungower Road for industrial purposes to facilitate an industrial/technology park being developed in this area. This private rezoning request has been submitted to the State Governments’ Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce (BVRT).
The Rezoning Strategy has looked at three locations: Somerville, Tyabb and Hastings. The land is all in proximity to each other and is currently within the Special Use Zone for port related activities. Most of the land that was investigated has been nominated as being surplus to the port requirements, with only part of the area within Tyabb that is not currently surplus, hampering that areas suitability.
The private amendment relates to part of the land within the Somerville investigation area. This area is subject to a current planning permit for a marine industrial development and would provide for a significant anchor tenant to the area.
Ultimately the Rezoning Strategy has determined that the Hastings area, not the Somerville area would be the best location for the future industrial/technology park. The reasoning behind this are detailed in the report. They include: Hastings location which is north of existing industrial land; the areas ability to expand beyond 15 year timeframe for supply; traffic management and servicability of the land. Somerville on the other hand was considered to be the least preferred option. The reasons for this include significant community concern, significant service upgrades, limited expansion opportunities and the potential to encroach on well established market gardens.
Sealite are using the current pandemic and associated significant economic downturn as justification for promoting their proposal. They point to the fact that they are ready to commence this project immediately, whereas the Hastings area may not be ready to contribute jobs or economic activity for some time. The question this raises is: “Should the decision on the location for the technology park be based on an analysis of the best location, or on what site is ready to commence faster?”
While I am sometimes frustrated with how slow planning can be, I feel that it is essential for planning to consider the best outcome rather than being swayed by current market forces. Undoutedly, a major landholder/business ready to commence is an important piece of the puzzle for a project like this, however even more relevant for me is longevity. It is important that a decision like this is given enough thought and time and not rushed. Whether it is a shopping centre that ends up fragmented by a main road, a residential area allowed to expand beyond service capacity, or a new industrial area that runs out of supply and can’t expand, these problems are not easily solved after the fact. We have a lot more information and tools at our resources to plan better than in decades past, so we should!
Both projects are currently open for public comment until the 3rd August. You can read more about Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Rezoning Strategy here. This webpage also contains information and links to the private amendment sought by Sealite. Alternatively you can access information directly here.