We have recently reviewed Mount Alexander Shire's high-level planning framework for residential growth in line with Victorian Government policy requirements. This work is called the Settlement Planning Assessment and ensures we are well-placed to accommodate projected population and housing growth over the next 15 years.

Specifically the Settlement Planning Assessment provides:

  • Clear direction on locations where growth should occur
  • Makes sure housing growth is directed into existing settlements
  • Ensures population growth and development is directed to low bushfire risk locations.

The Settlement Planning Assessment will not result in any changes to the planning scheme. Instead, it informs current and future strategic planning work, including the town-based settlement plans and housing strategies that we consult with the community on.

For example, the Housing and Neighbourhood Character Strategy for Castlemaine, Campbells Creek and Chewton, and Planning for Housing in Maldon and Newstead.

Visit the Castlemaine, Campbells Creek and Chewton shape page and the Maldon and Newstead shape page for more details.

The Assessment provides a high-level analysis of:

  • The policy context including state, regional and local planning policy directions and strategic influences, and relevant Ministerial Directions and planning practice notes.
  • Population, household and housing trends in the Shire.
  • Population and housing forecasts for the Shire.
  • Municipal land supply and demand.
  • Issues and opportunities relating to housing and settlement planning for the towns in the Shire.
  • The current strategic directions for settlement (townships, settlement and growth) at Clause 02.03-1 of the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme.

The Assessment finds that the current strategic directions for settlement planning in the Shire remain relevant, having regard to the planning policy context, population, household and housing data and forecasts and the municipal land supply and demand assessment.

These are:

  • Castlemaine and Campbells Creek will continue to be the main population centre in the Shire into the future. This is supported by the Loddon Mallee South Regional Growth Plan (2014) that identifies Castlemaine as having regional significance in terms of growth.
  • Maldon will continue to be a key retail centre in the Shire to support residents in the town and surrounding rural areas, and will also continue to serve an important tourism role. Urban expansion will continue to be limited in Maldon due to bushfire hazards surrounding the town and to protect significant landscapes.
  • Newstead will continue to be a local community centre providing services to residents in the town and surrounding rural areas. Growth in Newstead is to continue to be encouraged, however this needs to be carefully managed through further strategic work.
  • Harcourt will continue to be a local community centre and place for growth. This is to be guided and managed through Plan Harcourt (2020) and its implementation via Planning Scheme Amendment C94malx. Tourism and agricultural opportunities will also continue be encouraged in and around Harcourt.
  • Taradale and Elphinstone will continue to be small villages where growth is to be encouraged subject to reticulated sewerage.

Final Assessment

Following targeted consultation with key government departments and agencies, service providers and planning referral authorities, the Settlement Planning Assessment has been finalised.

The land supply and demand assessment will be updated after housing strategies are delivered for our Shire's key townships.