FEARS Kingston could be opened up to overdevelopment appear to have eased with council set to retain its oversight of planning applications.
The News can reveal Planning Minister Matthew Guy has accepted an independent advisory committee’s advice on Kingston Council’s new residential zones submission to the state government as part of its Plan Melbourne proposals.
“Kingston is now empowered for the next steps in implementing the reformed residential zones,” he said.
Kingston Council had requested more than 75 per cent of the region be included in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone which “protect and maintain liveability and neighbourhood character”.
Single and two-storey homes to a maximum height of eight metres can be built in the NRZ.
There had been concern the state government would effectively take the residential planning process out of council’s hands when it became apparent Kingston’s request had not been approved.
In June, 39 Victorian councils received approval for their revamped zoning schmes, providing “certainty” for development applications.
However, Kingston was among 24 municipalities subjected to “a neutral conversion” until a final state government decision was made.
The government’s independent Residential Zones Standing Advisory Committee advised Mr Guy to give Kingston Council another chance to develop its future housing policy.
“Rather than rush to put in place a zoning structure that neither council nor the community has seen before, I have accepted the independent committee’s recommendations,” Mr Guy said.
Kingston Council now has the opportunity to select those areas it wishes to preserve and possibly nominate areas for higher-density housing.
“I encourage Kingston Council to consider the independent advisory committee’s report, and take the time to conduct further research and consult with local residents and businesses on the right zoning for Kingston’s liveable suburbs,” Mr Guy said.
Mr Guy said the Highett Gasworks site will be zoned Residential Growth “as per local policy”.
Kingston Council CEO John Nevins said planning controls in place until the new residential zones are applied “essentially maintained the status quo”.
Mr Guy said the state government aimed to promote “high density housing in Melbourne’s central city area” to take population pressure off “our quieter suburbs”.