Further development on land in North Warrnambool has not been supported by the city council, but the door is open for it to be considered in the future.
The council received a request from several land owners for land on the northern side of Wangoom Road to be rezoned from rural living or farming zones to residential, and following that request the council had a report prepared on the proposal.
Other land owners and the study did not support the rezoning.
The council appointed Insight Planning Consultants to investigate the capacity of the area to sustain further residential growth.
The study considered the existing land use conditions and planning framework and included a review of traffic information, stormwater and drainage data, land capability, and servicing requirements.
A public survey/consultation and stakeholder engagement was also completed, with the study concluding the area had significant constraints to development.
These included the need to undertake substantial and costly improvements to roads, the area is subject to flooding with mitigation works exceeding $2 million and the area is made up of shallow and problematic clay soil textures that make the area high risk for increased densities in septic systems.
The study also acknowledged that 56 per cent land owners were opposed to further growth and said the constraints were unable to be managed through cost effective solutions.
A council report said Warrnambool had an adequate supply of residential zoned land or land that had already been identified for future residential use.
“Therefore, demand for residential rezoning of the study area is not critical,” it said.
“However, it is considered that the area can be further reviewed as part of the next planning scheme audit, having regard to future residential growth projections.”
Councillor Mike Neoh said it was a difficult parcel of land, mainly due to the number of land holders involved.
“Not all land holders want to develop the land and the cost benefit ratio of the infrastructure in this point in time if it went ahead would be a huge burden to many of the land owners,” he said.
He said it could be revisited again in a few years time if the majority of the owners wanted the rezoning.
“If we could get the infrastructure costs down it would be more favourable to those smaller land owners,” he said.
Cr Sue Cassidy agreed with Cr Neoh.
“It’s good to have the plans done so everyone is on the same page and knows what the concerns are,” she said. “I’m glad we’ve listened to the residents.”
Cr David Owen said one-third of the land was on a flood plain.
“If we cut too much agricultural land, what do we do then?” he asked.