Plan sets out a Dromana ‘vision’

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MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council has adopted the Dromana Township Plan and Residential Investigation Area Report.

This follows a review of the township and surrounding residential areas that was presented to the 20 August planning meeting.

The review identified built form objectives and controls to aid in the protection of Dromana’s “coastal” character.

Major provisions of the plan are to reinforce the prevailing coastal township streetscapes, maintain the suburb’s low scale built form character, and protect key views from the foreshore and across the town centre towards Arthurs Seat.

Other provisions are the strengthening of Pier Street as the “heart” of the township; to create a secondary laneway network, and transition built form to abutting residential zoned land.

Two separate drop-in sessions were held at the Dromana Bay Life Saving Club in May as part of the plan’s public exhibition process. They were attended by 43 people.

Council officers stated in their report that “left to continue developing without design provisions, inappropriate development could be established that would detract and gradually degrade the sought-after character of the township”.

The review aimed to establish a vision for the Dromana town centre and surrounding residential land in the absence of a Design and Development Overlay. This aims to influence planning controls to enforce an “appropriate balance between the township’s growth while protecting its valued character”.

Presently, the town and surrounding residential area has no detailed design provisions over character and scale. This means there are no building heights applicable over the commercial centre even while residential areas have three storey (11 metre) mandatory maximum heights under the General Residential Zone.

There is also an absence of controls over the area’s character, such as setbacks, vegetation planting and removal, materials and colours. The effect of this is to leave the way open for planning permit applications for developments of a scale and character “significantly inconsistent” with the character of Dromana, the officers said.

The overall aim of the plan is to ensure controls can be put in place to restrict developments which are appropriate to the township. Other key recommendations are for a “fine grain coastal character” along Point Nepean Road, including a maximum two storey (eight metre) street wall profile. A third storey would only be permitted if set back a minimum of five metres from the street wall.

The plan seeks “moderate change” to both sides of Pier Street to reinforce emerging character, including a maximum three storey (11 metre) street wall and similar change to land behind the Point Nepean Road frontage to encourage redevelopment. This would include a maximum two storey (eight metres) high street wall. A third storey would only be permissible if setback a minimum of five metres from the street wall.

The residential component of the plan separates the study area into six precincts categorised by their development pattern, housing type and location. The key recommendation here is for a preferred maximum building height of two storeys (nine metres) across all precincts.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 4 September 2018

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