GEELONG’s future houses will go west and north instead of on the Bellarine, with a new council strategy revealing two major growth areas will eventually hold 110,000 people by 2050.
At their meeting on Tuesday, City of Greater Geelong councillors resolved to release the draft Settlement Strategy for community consultation.
The Western and Northern Geelong Growth Areas are significant parts of the strategy and will be where most of the city’s urban housing needs will be met over the next decades, along with Armstrong Creek and urban infill.
The Western Geelong Growth Area, which stretches west from Highton, Hamlyn Heights and Bell Post Hill towards Batesford, will have a population of 62,000 spread over 3,245 hectares, while the Northern Geelong Growth Area, located around Lovely Banks, will have a population of 48,000 people over 2,089 hectares.
A key direction of the strategy is that the share of new development on the Bellarine Peninsula will decline over time to preserve the character of the area, and rural living developments will be limited to existing zoned land in Lara, Drysdale, Clifton Springs and Wallington.
Speaking at a media briefing last week, Geelong mayor Bruce Harwood said Geelong’s expected annual growth rate of 2.5 per cent meant the municipality would need an extra 73,000 dwellings by 2036.
“At this point in time, we really only have Armstrong Creek, so by bringing on developments in the north and the west, we increase the diversity of housing options.”
Chair of the Sustainable Development portfolio Cr Jim Mason said the Bellarine had been carrying a heavy load in terms of growth over the past few years, but this would change.
“We’re not using the word ‘growth’ as much now; we’re thinking more about contained areas that reach their optimum state.”
Cr Harwood said the state government required Geelong to have 15 years of residential land supply, but the new growth areas would lift the figure to 29 years.
For more information and to submit feedback about the draft Settlement Strategy and the Western and Northern Growth Areas, head to geelongaustralia.com.au/yoursay/default.aspx.