Offering a lifestyle option

CREATING a lifestyle choice for young people to set up their homes and raise their children in the Latrobe Valley.

That is the kind of opportunity the Lake Narracan Precinct Structure Plan will bring to the region, according to Committee for Moe secretary Sue Abbott.

The long-term plan, allowing prospective developers or landowners to subdivide while planning for shopping centres and a new school, is expected to accommodate about 3700 new homes.

It will see about $56 million of additional infrastructure built to support the precinct, a development Ms Abbott said the Moe and Newborough township should embrace.

“We’re losing our young kids to other areas, because where are they going to raise their children?” Ms Abbott said.

“Yes, we want people to stay here in retirement, but we want our youth to stay here, we want kids to be raised here, we want our schools to grow.

“And we’re not going to get that if we don’t have choices for our kids.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for a lifestyle choice that no other region has to offer.”

RGM Financial Group director Pearse Morgan, a member of the consortium of developers, said the group had last month mapped out a timeframe to pursue the planning permit application.

He said it would involve a lot of work, but hoped to submit an application by June with expectations it would be approved by the last quarter of 2016.

“It’s been a long journey of about seven or eight years for this group, but it’s gone through its due, exhaustive process,” Mr Morgan said.

“And we’ve finally got there, so we’re all very pleased and looking forward to the future opportunities that are there.”

Describing Lake Narracan as an idyllic setting, which could become a destination for visitors and new residents, Mr Morgan hopes the development will create jobs and economic growth.

While Committee for Moe initially helped source local and external investors for the precinct’s plan, it has no control over the eventual development.

Ms Abbott said the committee would, however, help it move in the right direction, acting as a support for community members and groups while it takes place.

She allayed the fears of residents predicting rate rises on their property, pointing out these would be minor increases compared to the stronger monetary value land would hold.

“All it does is add value to your property,” Ms Abbott said.

“There is no pressure for them (landowners) to move or to develop their land, but if they ever wanted to do that later on, the value is worth a lot more.

“And if there’s growth and there’s all this in play and parks and land and schools and a whole new community, why wouldn’t it be worth more?”