The Lake Narracan Precinct Structure Plan has received the state planning minister’s tick of approval – 12 months after Latrobe City councillors adopted the ‘big-picture’ development strategy.
More than 3000 houses, 18 hectares of open space, along with new roads, paths and cycling tracks are expected to transform the lake over the next few decades.
It follows the initial proposal of a private developer to rezone one small area of land, evolving into a bold strategy for the 600-plus-hectare precinct.
“I think the main message is that it’s a positive thing for the town (Moe/Newborough) and for the community; it’ll enhance Latrobe City’s regional city status,” council’s future planning manager, Gail Gatt said.
“It will provide investment into the local economy, provide a number of jobs and housing and it’ll create a high-quality natural area, which has high-quality natural amenity.”
Small landowners, commercial developers and sports clubs who wish to transform their properties will now have the opportunity to do so.
Native vegetation will be protected and developers must either deliver public infrastructure projects or provide the funds for council as part of the overall plan.
While small landowners have previously expressed fears of rate rises, Latrobe City deputy mayor Sharon Gibson said the plan had at least brought certainty.
“(For) so long there has been uncertainty – will this occur or won’t this occur?” she said.
“Uncertainty is no good for anybody, this way people know what’s happening.
“And I’ve got every confidence that this will be a beautiful suburb. We live in a beautiful area and this should only enhance it.”
Moe Golf Club president Peter Foster said the club would be happy to talk to developers who have shown interest in parcels of land, bordering Lake Narracan.
“We’ve said all along that we thing it’s a good development. We’ve supported it,” Mr Foster said.
“Ultimately the club will make a decision based on the advantages to the club and go from there.
“In the short-term it may not be anything, in the long-term it might be sell it off, reconfigure the course and go from there.”
Council’s next step is to consider any planning permit applications that come its way, with the development group looking to lodge an application next year.
“I think the first thing to realise is there may not be any changes initially. These things take time,” Ms Gatt said.