Planning Scheme Amendment C241morn (Amendment C241morn) proposes to implement recommendations from the Balcombe Estuary and associated reserves: Ecological and Planning Study (Biosis, 2022) (the Study). The amendment aims to protect and enhance the ecological values, systems and character of the Balcombe Estuary and associated reserves whilst supporting existing sports, recreation and community uses in the area for a growing population.

Amendment C241morn specifically proposes to:

  • introduce a new Schedule 32 to the Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO32) to the area which explicitly identifies critically important ecological values and environmental systems in the area whilst acknowledging the importance of existing community infrastructure,
  • rezone land currently within residential zones to reflect public ownership and conservation or recreational values, and
  • delete redundant planning provisions to avoid unnecessary duplication of controls and improve the overall efficiency of the planning scheme.

The proposed ESO32 is a planning control that strengthens biodiversity conservation within the area beyond just vegetation protection. It requires new development to have regard for highly valued and sensitive environmental systems, native fauna, habitat, land and soil stability, drainage patterns, and water quality.

To support the ongoing use of existing sporting, recreation and community uses, the proposed ESO32 contains planning permit exemptions for certain types of buildings and works, particularly where they are contained within existing footprints and areas with low or minimal ecological value.

The amendment applies to land in Mount Martha including Balcombe Creek Estuary, Citation Reserve, Balcombe Estuary Reserve, Seppelt Park Reserve, Ferrero Reserve and Victoria Reserve as shown in the map below.

This land is used for a range of sports, recreation and community purposes, including tennis courts, cricket and football ovals, a pistol club, a bowls and petanque club, Balcombe Creek Estuary boardwalk, fishing platforms, Mount Martha Preschool and Maternal and Child Health Centre.

The land includes a combination of Crown Land and land owned by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. Council is the Committee of Management for all Crown Land within the area whilst Melbourne Water are the waterway manager for the Balcombe Creek Estuary.

The amendment does not apply to any privately owned land.

Next Steps

Council has sought authorisation from the Minister for Planning to prepare Planning Scheme Amendment C241morn. If authorised, the amendment will be placed on public exhibition. During exhibition, anyone can view documents free of charge and lodge a written submission for Council’s consideration. Details of exhibition and how to make a submission will be released following authorisation.