PORT FAIRY could have up to 750 new homes in the next 20 years, a council plan aiming to relieve the town's housing shortage shows.
Some welcome the Port Fairy Coastal and Structure Plan and say it also opens doors for considering future services like a secondary school but others fear it's "overkill" that could hurt house prices.
The plan proposes to rezone two areas north of the Princes Highway to pave the way for up to 589 new lots. Development in the current town boundary could also bring up to 158 new lots.
But Moyne Shire economic and planning director Brett Davis said while the plan was ambitious, he expected new houses could be much fewer at around 20 a year.
"Over 20 years, that's quite manageable, some years it could be higher and some years lower, what the structure plan does is it provides guidance," Mr Davis said.
The plan began after reports to council in 2016 estimated Port Fairy had around 12 to 15 years' worth of new land supply left and noted "lack of greenfield supply" was pushing demand up.
But real estate agency Lockett and Co's Garry Lockett said he had "mixed feelings" about the plan and feared even as many as 600 new houses in the next 20 years could "kill values".
"You look at how many is required per year it's not a large number. I'd say it would be 70 to 75 per cent want to live in the existing old part of the town, which is the central area," Mr Lockett said.
"The majority of the people who are coming here come because it's a village on the coast, and 600 new houses starts to question whether it is a village.
"They would be a slow sell, but I suppose for the young people, it would at least keep them in the town."
An area amid the rural land flagged for development also includes land mapped for a future "Port Fairy bypass" or re-route of the Princes Highway.
A Victorian Department of Transport spokeswoman told The Standard the land had a public acquisition overlay since the mid-1990s that would "be kept in place unless it is determined that the land is no longer required for Port Fairy's future transport needs".
Mr Davis said any development would have to keep the possible highway corridor vacant.
"The residential growth area between the Hamilton-Port Fairy Road and Princes Highway has been designed to interface with the future highway alignment," he said.
Port Fairy resident Karen Foster, who's campaigning to join the council at elections later this year, said she supported the council's long-term thinking, but there was now a need to consider the services for a growing population, including discussion about a secondary school.
"I have heard several calls for a secondary school for Port Fairy, maybe that's something we need to consider," Ms Foster said.
"There are other considerations, things like public transport, we need to be really considered in our approach and what will service all of the families who might live here in the future."
Ms Foster is also Moyne Health Services chair and said the service would consider the plan in its vision for the future.
But she said the health service also had to account for having a "major regional centre 20 minutes down the road".
"What our role is in the health system may involve things like primary health... keeping people well instead of fixing them when they're sick," Ms Foster said.
Mr Davis said a feedback process involving a panel hearing later this year would be open to services such as the state's education department to "do their numbers and decide on school provision".
Port Fairy-based councillor Jordan Lockett said flood overlays, sand dunes and wetlands meant that the area flagged for development, near the showgrounds, was the "only area where there could be growth".
But Cr Lockett said it was important the plan's growth was "manageable".
"The reason everyone comes here is because it's a quaint fishing village, the last thing we want to do is overdevelop Port Fairy," he said.
The council is accepting written submissions on the plan until June 15.
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