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Housing Strategy and Neighbourhood Character Study

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The Victorian Government estimates Melbourne will grow to 7.9 million people by 2051.

Our city can’t keep sprawling outwards, so the Victorian Government’s Plan Melbourne sets out how all local Councils will have to take their fair share of the growth. Kingston Council has long-campaigned to see population growth centred around our key activity centres, close to public transport, shops and services. This would allow us to protect the neighbourhood character and amenity of our quieter residential streets.

We need Victorian Government support – through changes to the Planning Scheme and adoption of our Residential Zones – to make this happen.


Why a Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Study?

Melbourne’s high levels of growth means that local Councils are faced with the challenge of how to accommodate more people while retaining what we love about our neighbourhoods.

To address these challenges, Council is undertaking a Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Study. The Housing Strategy component is a twenty-year plan to manage housing growth and change across all residential areas in Kingston. This Strategy also provides a basis to review residential zones across the municipality.

The Neighbourhood Character Study involves a detailed assessment of neighbourhood character in Kingston’s residential areas and the creation of design guidelines to influence what new development should look like.



The Draft Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Study

Council worked collaboratively with the community to develop the first draft of both the Housing Strategy and Neighbourhood Character Study. More about the stages of engagement can be found below.

For an overview of the draft Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Study, watch our short explainer video.

Consultation on the draft Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Study was open from Monday 6 May - Friday 2 August. Council is currently reviewing and incorporating your feedback. 



What are the next steps?

Council is currently considering all submissions received on the draft Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Study. We are preparing the final strategy for Council to formally adopt at an upcoming Council Meeting. The community will be notified when the meeting date has been set.  

We are also working closely with the state government to ensure the strategy meets their requirements. The state government have recently received a set of Practice Notes (Planning for housing and Using the residential zones) to guide work in this area.

Once Council adopts the strategy, a formal Planning Scheme Amendment process and the next stage of consultation will begin. All residents and owners will receive a letter at this stage. We expect to be opening consultation on the schedules to the new zones and local planning policy in early to mid-2020.  

The planning process can be complex and hard to understand, so we've put together this graphic of the Consultation and Planning Process to try and simplify the next steps. 

Join our mailing list to be kept informed as the project progresses.



Engaging with the community

The Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Study is a large, complex project, which has involved a number of stages of consultation (and there’s still more to come)! Below is a summary of how the community has been involved so far.

Stage 1 consultation – developing the Draft Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Study

Council worked collaboratively with the community to develop the first draft of both the Housing Strategy and Neighbourhood Character Study. In late 2017 we held a series of Ward Meetings, early in 2018 we consulted the broader community through online and hard-copy surveys, listening posts, guided and self-guided walking tours and in July last year we established a Community Panel – representing a wide cross-section of Kingston residents. The feedback from this stage of consultation informed the first draft of the Housing Strategy and Neighbourhood Character Study.

Stage 2 consultation – feedback on the Draft Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Study

Consultation on the draft Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Study was open from Monday 6 May - Friday 2 August 2019. Council reconvened the Community Panel to get their feedback on the draft, ran a series of drop-in information sessions and meetings across Kingston, and consulted the broader community through online and hard-copy surveys.

Stage 3 consultation – feedback on the Planning Scheme Amendment (to begin early to mid 2020)

All residents and owners will receive a letter notifying them when this stage of consultation opens. We expect to be opening consultation on the schedules to the new zones and local planning policy in early to mid-2020. The community will be able to provide feedback online and face-to-face via drop-in information sessions.

Community Panel

The deliberative engagement phase aimed to involve and collaborate with a representative sample of the wider community by convening a Community Panel to co-design a series of principles on housing and neighbourhood character that speaks to and reflects the views of the community. 

Check out some highlights from their deliberations below.



Victorian Government’s guidance for this work

In December 2019 the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) released new guidance about using and applying Victoria's suite of residential zones.

Kingston has been working very closely with DELWP in the refinement of the Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Study, to ensure it aligns with their requirements.

The new planning practice notes provide advice to councils about how to prepare, use and apply Victoria's planning provisions for residential development. The practice notes cover important topics including how to plan for housing and how to make best use of the planning tools to balance housing growth with the protection of neighbourhood character.

You can review the Planning for housing and Using the residential zones practice notes for more information.