Victorian Government Announces Geelong Growth Area, Armstrong Creek

The detail of the approval is not yet known, however we will endeavour to have all documents updated over the coming days.


A vision for a sustainable community

The Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Plan provides the development framework for Geelong’s primary growth area and is one of the City’s largest strategic planning projects.

It aims to concentrate the majority of the growth of Geelong into a comprehensive community in the area south of the railway line and includes parts of the suburbs and localities of Grovedale, Marshall, Connewarre and Mount Duneed.

What is Council’s vision for the growth area?

The Armstrong Creek urban growth area will be developed into a sustainable community that sets new benchmarks in best practice urban development. Natural and cultural features will be protected and enhanced to create a distinct urban character. Armstrong Creek will become a highly sought-after location for living, working and recreation, forming an attractive addition to Geelong.


Will Armstrong Creek be different from other subdivision developments in and around Geelong?

Armstrong Creek will be a master planned community that enables the early design and inclusion of key community facilities and infrastructure to sustain a future residential, commercial and industrial community. This is a different approach for the City of Greater Geelong. Council aims to deliver innovative approaches in water management, community facilities, public open space, public transport and a walkable / vibrant community.
Where will people live?


When will houses be built?

Council is committed to prioritising the master planning required for Precinct Structure Plans and will work in collaboration with developers to delivery Precinct Structure Plans as quickly as possible. Council expects that two Precinct Structure Plans will be approved by December 2009 and has suggested that developers combine the initial stages of subdivision with the Amendment process to allow construction to commence as early as possible. It is hoped that houses will be built in 2010.


How many people will live in Armstrong Creek?

The growth area will provide for 22 000 lots and a population of around 55 000 people. What type of housing will be provided? Housing will be delivered for a range of household types in a variety of ways that support the life stages of communities. This will include conventional residential development, medium to high density development and retirement village styles. Council is committed to ensuring housing diversity in all precincts. Council is committed to providing for a diversity of housing and the framework plan nominates areas for medium to high density housing, along with conventional density housing. There is also significant potential for shop top housing and apartment style living in the Activity Centres.


Where will people work?

There are two dedicated employment precincts in the growth area, the North East Industrial Precinct and the Western Industrial Precinct. Employment will also be available in activity centres, schools and community facilities.

Council anticipates that more than 22 000 jobs will be provided in the growth area as follows:

Job Estimate Figures for Growth Area Indicative figures

Major Activity Centre 3, 500
N-E Neighbourhood Activity Centre 250
S-E Neighbourhood Activity Centre 210
Local Shops (Residential) 210
North East Industrial Precinct 8,000
Western Industrial Precinct 7,350
Home Based Businesses 2,200
Specialised Local Centres in Employment Precincts 190
Other 1,000
Total Jobs 22,910


What planning processes will be used to achieve the vision?

Council has applied to the Department of Planning and Community Development to apply the Urban Growth Zone to all land within the Urban Growth Boundary currently located in the Farming Zone. The application of the Urban Growth Zone does not, by itself, allow urban use and development to proceed. The Urban Growth Zone is essentially a holding zone which reserves land for future urban development. The provisions of the Urban Growth Zone reflect those of the Farming Zone, while allowing a small number of pioneering uses to be approved prior to the approval of a Precinct Structure Plan. The Urban Growth Zone applies different provisions to land depending on whether a Precinct Structure Plan applies. A Precinct Structure Plan applies when it is incorporated into the Planning Scheme. Once development in a precinct is underway, the Urban Growth Zone will be translated into an appropriate standard zone, eg Residential 1 Zone, Business 2 Zone.


What is a Precinct Structure Plan?

In the Urban Growth Zone, Precinct Structure Plans are the key documents that trigger the conversion of non-urban land into urban land allowing for permits to be issued for the subdivision and development of land for urban purposes. A Precinct Structure Plan is included in the Planning Scheme via a standard Planning Scheme Amendment process. There are seven precincts in the growth area and each precinct will require a Precinct Structure Plan. A Precinct Structure Plan is a long term strategic plan that describes how a precinct will be developed. Once a Precinct Structure Plan is approved, permits can be issued for subdivision and development.

Council will be following the lead of the Growth Areas Authority, which is the Authority responsible for delivering 37 Precinct Structure Plans in Melbourne’s growth areas.


What Precinct Structure Plans have been approved?

At this stage no Precinct Structure Plans have been approved.


What is a Developer Contributions Plan (DCP)?

The Development Contributions Plan (DCP) is a way by which Council will charge new development in the growth area for contributions towards planned infrastructure projects. It is a certain and transparent means by which Council can recover some of the costs towards the on-going provision of adequate development and community infrastructure. Money received through the DCP will go towards a varied range of projects such as road and drainage upgrades, landscaping and streetscaping works, improvements to parks, community centres, neighbourhood houses, libraries, sporting facilitates, youth facilitates, community health centres, bike paths, public lighting and toilet blocks. The DCP outlines why and how Council will charge new development for a financial contribution towards planned infrastructure projects from which that development will benefit. The DCP is incorporated in the Planning Scheme via a standard planning scheme amendment process.


What is the status of Amendment C138– Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Plan?

This amendment seeks to put a statutory framework in place to allow for the detailed planning for the growth area to occur. This framework plan will become part of the City of Greater Geelong Planning Scheme and provide overall strategic direction to future detailed planning. Council has adopted the Amendment and has submitted it to the Department of Planning and Community Development for adoption. The Department has advised that the Amendment is under active consideration.


What is the status of Amendment C170– Urban Growth Zone?

Council has requested a Ministerial Amendment to apply the Urban Growth Zone to all land currently zoned Farming Zone which is located within the Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Boundary nominated in the Framework Plan. The Department of Planning and Community Development has advised that the amendment is under active consideration.


Will new residents have access to services and facilities when they need them?
What community facilities will be provided?

The Armstrong Creek Project Team is currently working with other agencies including State Government to develop a Community Infrastructure Plan for the whole of the growth area. It is anticipated that this plan will be completed in December 2008. The plan will identify the education, health, community service, recreation and the emergency service requirements in the growth area. The plan is focused on the timely provision of these services so that these new communities can develop in a sustainable fashion.

Once Council adopts the Community Infrastructure Plan, it will be used to guide the detailed Precinct Structure Planning for each of the seven precincts.


What schools will be available?

A mix of public and private schools at both primary and secondary level are currently being considered as part of the social infrastructure plan. In addition to schools it is also envisaged that life long learning opportunities will be available through libraries, kindergartens, playgroups, post secondary, U3A and community houses. The details of the schools which will ultimately be established in Armstrong Creek are not yet known. However a Lutheran School (prep to year 12) is currently being developed on the corner of Burvilles Road and Surfcoast Highway.


When will the new railway station be developed?

Council is in negotiations with the Department of Transport to obtain a commitment for it to firstly secure the land, and secondly, to construct the required infrastructure for the railway station. Council is hopeful that the railway station will be operational by 2015.


What is planned for the Marshall railway station?

Council has been in discussions with the Department of Transport with a view to ensuring the Marshall Station and surrounds are further developed in response to its increased usage. Marshall Station is an integral part of the growth area.


Will there be a rail connection to Torquay?

The framework plan makes provision for a land corridor which runs from the existing Warrnambool- Melbourne line to the south of the growth area, which will ultimately allow for a rail connection to Torquay. Council has been in discussions with the Department of Transport, and have been advised that initially any public transport link to Torquay will be via a high quality rapid bus service. Council is also working with Surfcoast Shire to ensure that the appropriate planning for this link is coordinated across municipal boundaries.


Will there be an East West link from the Geelong Ring Road to the Bellarine Peninsula?

The framework plan includes provision for an East West link which runs from the Anglesea Road to the Barwon River. At this stage the location of the road is indicative, but as detailed master planning is undertaken land will be set aside for the road. Council is committed to reserving land for the future road. VicRoads have committed to undertaking the planning for the section of road which runs between the Anglesea Road and the Surfcoast Highway.


What work has been done to determine the civil infrastructure requirements of the growth area?

A draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan (Civil) has almost been completed. The IDP (Civil) sets out a baseline strategy for the delivery of the following infrastructure items: water, sewerage, gas, electricity, telecommunications, drainage and roads.

Council has liaised with Barwon Water, VicRoads, Telstra, gas and Powercor to determine a strategy for the roll out of key infrastructure items and to obtain a commitment from the agencies to roll out the infrastructure items within a ten year timeframe.


What shops will be available in Armstrong Creek?

There are four different types of activity centres proposed in the growth area, as follows:

 A Major Activity Centre
 Two Neighbourhood Activity Centres, one in Armstrong Creek East Precinct and one in Horseshoe Bend Precinct
 Local Centres
 Specialised local centres.

Council expects that local convenience shops (milkbars) will be provided within easy walking distance of all homes. Shops will be part of the range of services available.


What measures are proposed to make the new community environmentally sustainable?


Armstrong Creek will seek to delivery innovative solutions for the capture, recycling and use of water. Drought tolerant landscaping and sports fields will be encourages along with locating wetlands / water storage ponds beside public open space for irrigation use, the use of water sensitive urban design, third pipe recycled water, and rain water tanks for both household and business use.


To ensure the efficient use of energy lots will be oriented to achieve excellent solar orientation. Large scale business and commercial buildings will be encouraged to utilise efficient co-generation systems (shared facilities), environmentally sustainable design and appropriate solar orientation and passive design for both heating and cooling. Where possible, street and public lighting will utilise solar technology for sourcing energy minimising the long term operating costs and environmental impacts of these assets.


Frequent and high standard walking and cycling paths are a key initiative and one of the key visions for the growth area is to develop walkable communities that are not reliant on the family car, and where possible, encourage single vehicle households.

Walking and cycling paths will be developed an integrated "web" across the total growth area to encourage the community the walk or cycle for local trips less than five kilometres. The road environment will be designed to give higher priority to pedestrians and cyclists to ensure a safe and quick journey for trips to key community and commercial facilities.


Opportunities are being explored to provide every household and business with optic fibre telecommunication. This will
provide a high speed communication environment for businesses competing on a national and / or global scale, and
allow home based businesses and the general community to utilise high quality telecommunication technology.


What if I already own land in the growth area?
What is the staging plan for the development of land?

There is no staging plan for the growth area. Precinct Structure Plans will include staging. When is the right time for me to sell my land in the growth area? Council cannot advise on this issue. Land owners will need to seek their own advice outside of Council. My land is currently zoned Residential 1/ Industrial 1, can I develop the land?

It is suggested that you contact Council’s Statutory Planning Department on 5272 4456 for an answer to this question. Can land outside the Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Boundary be developed?

The majority of land to the south of the Urban Growth Boundary is located in the Farming Zone. It is suggested that you contact Council’s Statutory Planning Department on 5272 4456 for an answer to this question.

How long will it take to develop all of Armstrong Creek?

It is anticipated that the growth area will be fully developed within 10 – 25 years depending on regional and state housing growth rates.
General Is there any hobby farm land planned?

No hobby farm type land will be provided in the growth area. Geelong Council has nominated rural living nodes (hobby farm land) at Lovely Banks, Lara and Wallington.


How can I obtain contract work in the growth area?

Roads, footpaths, lighting, park land, housing lots and other infrastructure will be constructed by developers rather than Council. As such, contractors should contact developers to ascertain whether any contracting opportunities exist.


How can I contact the Armstrong Creek Project Team?

The Armstrong Creek Project Team can be contacted in the following ways:

Telephone: 03 5272 4249

In person: City of Greater Geelong offices, 131 Myers Street, Geelong.

Note: It is strongly suggested that you make an appointment to see any members of the team

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of