Current Issues

Portsea  Beach

The Nepean Ratepayers Association (NRA) and the Portsea Foreshore Advisory Group (PFAG ) have been representing the public interest over the past 5 years by maintaining pressure on DELWP, and the State Government, initially to find the cause of the ocean swells that first appeared in 2009, and secondly to find a solution to divert the ocean swells so that the beach could be re-established.

Following our efforts, a series of reports to Government have established that the cause of the beach disappearing was the dredging in the course of channel deepening project.   The latest report, in December 2016 by Advisian, examined 6 options for dealing with the ongoing ocean swells landing at Portsea front beach.  Only one of these envisaged diversion of the swells, enabling reinstatement of the beach, and was the only solution we urged upon the Government.  This option is to reshape a nearby section of the seabed to divert the ocean swells away from Portsea front beach, reinstating the historic wave and sand movement. 

In June 2017 the key stakeholder group were asked to meet the Chief Adviser to the Minister, Lily d’Ambrosio,  to hear of her decision.   That decision is to replace the existing sand bag wall with a permanent rock revetment wall, as has been dumped on the west side of the Pier. This is the worst option to choose, because no beach can be established where any wall is constructed, as the swells bounce away, taking all sand with them.  It means the beach will forever remain unusable to young beach swimmers, to the Portsea SLSC Little Nippers, for SCUBA tuition, and other normal beach uses.  Further, the Pier will continue to suffer punishment from swells and boat impacts, requiring earlier and greater maintenance of that structure.

The Government has chosen the rock revetment wall option because it is the cheapest course.  It is not related to the fairness or the practicality of solving the problem.

We think this result is totally unacceptable, because it will perpetuate an existing environmental, commercial and social disaster for Portsea village.

As a result, NRA and PFAG have decided to launch a campaign to lobby the Government to change its decision and return Portsea Beach to original condition. 


See links below. 
https://www.coastsandmarine.vic.gov.au/coastal-programs/portsea

The following are Conclusions from the Cardno, CSIRO and Water Technology  Reports,

Cardno Report:   March 2011

Conclusions

 The conclusions are the following:

 1.   The Great Sands as a region is stable on a timescale of human lifetime, but there are areas of mobile sand which are continually changing.

 2.   There are no identifiable changes in the stability of the Great Sands as a region which can be attributed to channel deepening activities.

 3.   There are no identifiable changes in the Great Sands that are attributable to CDP activities that are inconsistent with SEES predictions. Apart from the shipping channels which were dredged, there are no areas which have plausibly changed depth due to the CDP.

 4.   The LADS survey data identifies areas of mobile sand waves, particularly in South Channel, east of Schnapper Deep and in the west on the southern side of the channel. Mobile sand is also identified north of Popes Eye, in Symonds Channel and east of Pinnace Channel. The locations of these areas are consistent with the sediment transport modelling originally undertaken for the SEES and the post dredging refined sediment transport modelling.

 5.   Analysis of the LADS survey data shows there are no identifiable changes to Mud Islands or Swan Island that are attributable to CDP activities.

 6.   The analysis of beach profiles taken from the LADS surveys does not identify any changes in the beaches which can be attributed to CDP. The LADS analysis shows that there is accretion on a number of beaches and very little erosion.

 7.   The comparison of wave heights from modelling before and after dredging shows there is no significant difference in the wave heights off Portsea and adjacent areas in the pre and post-dredging scenarios.

 8.   Further comparison of wave height patterns, and therefore wave energy patterns, in this section of the Bay also does not reveal any significant differences for the pre and post-dredging scenarios.

 9.   Analysis of the measured sea-level and wave data in 2009 shows there were several events of exceptionally high sea-levels accompanied by high wave-conditions emanating from Bass Strait. This combination of naturally occurring extreme weather events is the most plausible explanation for initiating beach erosion on the Nepean Peninsula including the localised area of erosion on the Portsea Front Beach. The refined sediment transport modelling indicated less impact upon sediment transport in the Great Sands from deepening of the channels than was predicted for the SEES. This is consistent with the LADS survey data.

 10.Any observable effects of sediment transport in the dredged areas are likely to be limited to the sand-wave fields in South Channel West and South Channel East, east of Schnapper Deep.

 11.  The pattern and rate of change on beaches in the southern part of Port Phillip Bay during the past 2 years (during and post CDP) is consistent with that documented over the past 150  years.

CSIRO Report:  April 2013

Conclusions

 The major conclusions drawn from this and other studies that were available to the OEM are;

 1.     While beaches do experience significant natural variability the record of shoreline position based on sparse historic photographs is not sufficient to distinguish between differences in tidal elevation, short term storm response, seasonal variability and longer term changes.

 2.     Following the CDP changes in sea level, currents and large scale sediment transport pathways were assessed to be minimal.

 3.     Wave heights at Point Nepean and water levels at Hovell Pile in 2009 were the highest at the 0.05%, 0.1% and 0.5% exceedance level in 8 year record from 2003-2008 and coincided more frequently with higher sea levels associated with storm surge and astronomical tides.

 4.     In a numerical study of wave propagation from Bass Straight through the Entrance and into Port Phillip Bay, Cardno (2011) reported no change in wave conditions following the CDP. The model results did suggest a focussing of wave energy towards the Portsea region and very minor increases in wave height at Portsea (less than ~3%) post-dredging that were considered insignificant. Results of ray tracing analysis (reported in OEM’s third dot point) showed waves reaching Portsea did not pass over the dredged channel. However, given the very localised nature of the erosion at Portsea small changes to the model through various parameter settings, different formulations of wave physics and bathymetry could change the local wave conditions.

 5.     Wave modelling reported by Water technology (2013) also shows a focussing of wave energy towards Portsea Beach but, in contrast to Cardno (2011), a comparison using pre and post CDP bathymetries shows a 7-10% increase in significant wave height. When the significant wave height outside the entrance is 2m the corresponding wave heights at Portsea before and after the CDP are 0.32m and 0.35m respectively.

 6.      A change in the local wave conditions is the likely cause of the erosion at Portsea, however the absence of long wave records at Portsea beach that predate the erosion event and CDP do not allow this to be quantified. Evidence suggests that naturally occurring storm events produced high sea levels and waves that were a primary mechanism for enhanced erosion. However, evidence from wave modelling studies also indicates that it is conceivable that the CDP may have increased the height of waves impacting the beach at Portsea and therefore some degree of attribution to the CDP is possible. In this regard it is therefore also conceivable that the CDP may have not only contributed to the erosion that has been observed, it may have impeded subsequent recovery of the beach. The limited number of wave modeling scenarios considered and the uncertainties associated with assumptions used in the modeling lead to only moderate confidence in the modeling results. Higher confidence in the wave modeling results could be achieved by

a.     providing more evidence of wave model validation using additional wave data collected at Portsea  since the CDP,

b.     investigating the sensitivity of the findings to model resolution under a greater range of tidal, sea level and wave conditions.

 7.     In summary, this review concludes that it is not possible to attribute the erosion observed at Portsea to a single causal factor since a range of factors operating on different time and space scales may be contributing. It is conceivable that the CDP has contributed to the erosion. However the extent of model investigations is not sufficiently detailed to ascertain if this is the case and if so what fraction of the changes in wave height can be attributed to the CDP.

Water Technology Report:  March 2013

Conclusions

The following summarises the main conclusions from the review and analysis of wave transformation processes through Port Phillip Heads:

 1.   The analysis undertaken in this review predicts that the main change to wave transformation processes following the completion of the CDP has been associated with an increase in the total internal reflection of wave energy along the bathymetric discontinuities created by the CDP dredging. The analysis predicts the total internal reflections are predominately occurring along the bathymetric discontinuities created at the ‘Entrance Approach Channel’, ‘South Channel West’ and the ‘South Channel Sediment Traps’.

 2.   The absolute magnitude of the changes in significant wave heights predicted due to total internal reflections are relatively small and vary from a few centimetres to up to 0.1m locally under average type ocean wave conditions. Absolute changes in mean wave directions of greater than 50 are predicted adjacent to the bathymetric discontinuities created by the CDP.

 3.   In relative percentage terms, the predicted changes to wave transformation processes associated with the CDP dredging result in predicted local increases in significant wave heights between approximately 7-10% at Portsea Front Beach, and a relative decrease of between 5-7% is predicted for Lonsdale Bight. Significant, percentage changes to wave heights are also predicted immediately adjacent to the bathymetric discontinuities associated with the CDP dredging.

 4.   The non-linear relationship between wave height and wave energy yields predicted percentage changes in wave energy density locally of 15-20% at Portsea Front   Beach, with corresponding decreases of 10-15% in Lonsdale Bight. 

 5.   Testing of incident wave directions representing the majority of the incident wave energy at Port Phillip Heads found that the extent of the changes identified were insensitive to incident wave direction and the testing suggests that the predicted changes to wave transformations associated with the CDP exist under the majority of incident wave conditions.

 6.   Modelling analysis using the series of Post CDP bathymetric scenarios derived from various surveys of the study area showed that the predicted changes to wave transformation associated with the CDP were able to be reproduced with reasonable consistency across these surveys and time periods following the completion of the  CDP.

 7.   The modelling analysis using the series of Post CDP bathymetric scenarios showed that over time, natural variations in bathymetry can result in additional changes to wave transformation processes, however, testing of the 2010 NO CDP bathymetric scenario showed that these changes could be clearly distinguished from the predicted changes associated with the CDP bathymetric changes.

 8.   The various sources and contributing factors that influence the level of certainty that can be prescribed to the findings of this analysis have been reviewed. A number of sources of uncertainty were identified that relate to the schematisation of the bathymetry, the numerical modelling scheme and the specification of the ocean wave boundary conditions.  However, these sources of uncertainty are generally expected to result in an underestimation of the changes identified in this analysis

9.   The major source of uncertainty that could influence the relative significance of the main changes to the wave transformations predicted in this analysis is considered the extent to which tidal currents intensify and subdue the total internal reflections from the bathymetric discontinuities created by the CDP. The net impact of tidal currents on the percentage change in wave conditions will be related to the extent of asymmetry between flood and ebb tide current speeds at these locations.



Below is our letter of the 13th March to Ms Kelly Crosthwaite;   DELWAP

Dear Ms Crosthwaite

 Thank you for your letter dated 25 February 2015. I have discussed it with David Syme, Chairman of the Portsea Foreshore Advisory Group (PFAG), as our two organisations represent the strongest body of community interest and opinion in relation to the present situation at Portsea. We think it is important that we advise you of our continuing concerns about the efforts to date to rescue the Portsea front beach.

You may be aware that prior to the change of Government, Ryan Smith as Environmental Minister was very supportive of the ongoing drive to find and install a viable, long term solution for re-establishment of the Portsea Beach. Many senior people in your Department, including Rodney Warren and Travis Dowling, were genuine in their efforts to achieve this.

Since the change of Government in 2014, we have become aware of one policy change which appears to have been made, but which is inconsistent with the apparent legal obligations enjoyed by, most relevantly, the lessee of land in the Point Nepean National Park with a lease for the development of commercial undertakings in that park.

Whilst we are very appreciate of the support and goodwill exhibited by your department to date, it is worrying to our community that major projects committed to by the previous government are to be abandoned or are under some other form of threat. Accordingly we ask for your assurances that the plans to rectify the issue at Portsea Beach by the new Government are not under any such threat.

As outlined in your letter we have noted with concern that no variation of the Worley Parsons contract, as previously discussed in our recent meeting, could be initiated to include finding solutions to the problem. This decision was based on advice from your legal department.

However your department did agree, within the original scope of the tender, to examine sand drift from the Nepean Bay coastline to the offshore sand shoals, sand shoal dynamics and migration patterns and near-shore and beach dynamics.

Studies to date by Water Technology and Worley Parsons have reached the same conclusions with where the refraction is occurring. We must emphasise that unless the additional data is essential to identifying a solution to diverting the wave pattern it is therefore wasteful of public funds. These funds ought to be applied directly to finding a solution.

As the prevailing wave pattern was first observed in 2009, we think it is irrefutable that these conclusions have taken far too long to reach. We are adamant that finding a solution to what is plainly an environmental disaster, needs to be fast tracked as the community has lost patience and will require far more aggressive activity by its representatives.

 For these reasons we are requesting that steps be taken immediately to address all matters that are required:

  • First, find and publish a suitable solution
  • Second, obtain from the Government these assurances:

o   that these steps will be agreed to within a stated time frame;

o   that works required will be funded by the Government; and

o   that finally, when the works are completed and are successful, that all remedial works that have been done at Portsea to primarily protect the assets behind the dune are removed and the beach bought back to its original condition, a beach that was known as one of the most iconic front beaches in Australia.

 

Yours sincerely

Colin Watson  :   President  Nepean Ratepayers Association

David Syme:  Chair  Portsea Foreshore Advisory Group



Reformed Residential Zones

 

The State Government recently amended General Residential Zones under amendment VC110.  These changes were made with NO consultation with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council or the community.     

The most controversial change is: 

•     The discretionary maximum building height of 9 metres will be replaced by a new mandatory 
       maximum building height of 11 metres, with a new 3 storey height limit

Most of the Nepean Ward is zoned General Residential Zone 1 and whilst height limits are protected and restricted to 8 metres under Design and Development Overlays 2, 3, 4 and 5 there are large areas within the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council that are not covered by DDOs.   There is no guarantee that the Government will not over-ride these protective DDO’s in the future.  

The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has requested community support in their push to protect our townships from inappropriate development and the negative impact of the new planning changes. The Council has sought to introduce an interim Design and Development Overlay (Amendment C212) to ensure that development is not inconsistent with the role and character of Mornington Peninsula townships. The interim DDO will introduce a height control of 9 metres and two storeys to those areas which do not already have an existing DDO protecting height limits.

The NRA urges you to write to the relevant decision makers listed below and reiterate the special character of the Mornington Peninsula and why three storey houses/units  are not appropriate.

A link to the proposed changes can be found at:      http://www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/Building-Planning/Strategic-Planning/Residential-Building-Heights-Planning-Changes

The Hon. Richard Wynne
Minister for Planning
Level 16, 8 Spring Street
East Melbourne Vic 3002

Mr Peter Keogh
Chief of Staff to the Minister for Planning
Level 16, 8 Spring Street
East Melbourne Vic 3002

Ms Christine Wyatt
Acting Secretary
Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning
PO Box 500
East Melbourne Vic 8002

Mr Daniel Mulino
Member for Eastern Victoria
Unit 1, 23 James Street
Pakenham  VIC 3810

For further commentary and opinion on this issue see:    www.morningtonpensinsulabandicoot.com 



Past AGMs
Nepean Ratepayers Association : 2012 Annual General Meeting
Sunday, 1 April 2012, at 2.30 p.m.
Sorrento Senior Citizens Hall, corner Queen & Melbourne Roads

Stephen Chapple : Speaker Notes

Thankyou for the opportunity to be here today with you. On behalf of the Council, we thankyou for your active interest, commitment, strong advocacy & partnership between the community and Council.

Congratulations to the President, Secretary, and newly elected committee. I also welcome the four Councillors here today. The Committee has asked me to address the following questions:

1. Sustainability – does the current planning scheme enforce sustainability for domestic and commercial building.

Yes, the current Planning Scheme contains both policy (State and Local) and specific provisions to encourage sustainability within new buildings.
It is expected that Council will shortly be publishing "fact files" explaining how design contributes to environment sustainability.

There is a fine line between what the Planning Scheme can tackle (in terms of requiring) in terms of this topic. Many VCAT decisions have been tough on Councils that try to enforce sustainability in planning Schemes, with VCAT predominantly suggesting that environmental sustainability is best dealt with under the building regulations and not planning regulations.

In that regard, it is Council officers’ opinion that Council is better to advocate for changes to the State Policy within the Planning Scheme to mandate environmental sustainable design. And to this extent, Council participates in the Council Alliance for Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) along with a long list of other Victorian Councils. This alliance seeks to make and promote change at the state level. 

2. Melbourne 2030 Are we still part of Melbourne 2030’s urban development? Should the Nepean Ward (and those areas abutting the Wildcoast and green wedge in other Wards) be considered part of Urban Melbourne?
Yes, MPSC is part of Melbourne 2030 and subsequent strategy Melbourne @ 5 Million- we are considered to be complimentary to the metropolitan area and therefore part of the greater area. Whether or not Nepean Ward should be part of the greater Melbourne metro area is ultimately a question for the State Government/Planning Minister. Notwithstanding, Council would always seek to advocate its position to the State. Council has and will continue to, maintain a strong commitment to the existing Urban Growth Boundary. The State government is currently preparing the Metropolitan Melbourne Strategy and will shortly commence a Mornington Peninsula Planning Statement. It is expected Council and the community will play a significant role in the development of the Mornington Peninsula Planning Statement.

In this regard, Council seeks to maintain a 70/30 split of non-urban/urban across the Mornington Peninsula.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your view, the Nepean Ward complements that by providing opportunity for residential development and opportunity for non-residential, and no development, given the large areas of National Park.
Council's current position is that the 70/30 split is appropriate and that no changes should be made to the urban growth boundary - neither to increase or decrease its size. This may be disagreeable to some, however MPSC has been working toward this and working to maintain this goal since the early 1970s.

Since that time, it is fair to say that the concept of "development" has changed - where people used to build smaller houses, larger houses are being built now. Where people used to opt for larger gardens; people are now choosing smaller/low maintenance gardens.

There is a fine line as to the extent to which Council can "control" this, especially seeing that properties in the Nepean Ward are often highly valuable - therefore some land owners seek to build as much as possible, the land they have.
If yes, how do we protect the natural beauty of these areas from over development?

There are already controls in place to protect natural beauty; there are planning scheme zones and overlays.

Although the Ratepayers Group don't always agree with this, Council by virtue of its Planning Scheme and the objectives/goals within this document, acknowledges, accepts and encourages that some change will occur to facilitate appropriate and responsible development.

Council encourages such development in residentially zoned areas (much of Nepean is in this zone) to accommodate Green Wedge zones where tighter controls exist around development.
Tightening planning controls in Nepean Ward will have ramifications for other wards and Council's strategic vision for the whole of the Peninsula and not just one ward.

How do we retain our neighbourhood character? Are your planning officers aware of the unique neighbourhood character as referred to in the MSS of Blairgowrie/Sorrento/Portsea?

Again, there are planning controls in place to protect neighbourhood character.
There is however a difference between "retaining" and being "sympathetic" to neighbourhood character. We have spoken to the Nepean Coalition at least three times about this difference over the past 12 months. Retaining is allowing only carbon copies of existing dwellings to be built - this is not realistic - it does not reflect the high price of land in Nepean Ward, it does not reflect the lifestyles of some people who opt to live on the Mornington Peninsula and it does not allow higher densities in those areas of the Mornington Peninsula (that 30% of the Mornington Peninsula) where "urban" development is accepted and encouraged.

Planning officers are acutely aware of the unique character of the Nepean Ward, and the Mornington Peninsula as a whole. Many of our planners have grown up in the local community, have lived here for many years and have a deep understanding and respect for the unique amenity of the area. Team South (statutory planners) specialises in these areas, being a geographically based town planning team dealing with Blairgowrie, Boneo, Cape Schanck, Fingal, Rosebud, Rosebud South & West, Rye, Sorrento, St Andrews Beach, Tootgarook and Portsea.

There will also however often be a difference of opinion between those that seek to retain the status quo and those that understand that some change is inevitable, acceptable and appropriate, provided it picks up on key elements of the character of the area - window shapes and sizes, use of weatherboards, pitch of roofs, etc.
Effects on planning approvals following the completion of the sewering of the southern Mornington Peninsula? The lack of sewerage has been a physical limitation on the intensity of subdivision and development in some areas - and with the completion of backlog sewerage programs there will no doubt be additional development pressure.

However, the availability of sewerage does not override the existing planning controls - such as the design and development overlays which establish minimum lot size requirements etc.

The best location for new housing is the subject of Council's Housing and Sustainable Settlements Study (still in progress) – and, while areas around commercial activity centres are often considered as potential locations for medium density housing, this is not always the case. In terms of sustainability, areas with relatively poor access to employment, higher education facilities, public transport services etc, which are limitations and apply to many areas on the southern peninsula, are not considered good prospects for major increases in population. This is consistent with the previous strategy (established by the Flinders Shire) which was referred to as ‘Living in a Recreation Area', which gave greater weight to the protection of character and environmental values than on achieving infill development - highlighting a different set of planning priorities - which still apply despite the availability of sewerage.

Effects of Peninsula Link on development and tourism?
Council recently commissioned a study (Peninsula Links Impacts Study) to forecast likely impacts on the region when the freeway is completed in early 2013.

The study looked at other regions where similar new freeways has happened and also consulted with road traffic experts, demographers, economic planners, strategic planners, estate agents and government agencies.

A key point is Peninsula Link will not be the sole contributing factor to changes occurring now and in the near term on the Mornington Peninsula. There are many other factors e.g. aged population, other access routes onto the Mornington Peninsula, cheaper land elsewhere [Mornington Peninsula land is relatively expensive when compared to Cranbourne etc…] and the high $AUD etc…

Owing to Council defending the 70:30 land split there will be no rezoning or subdividing of rural land along the freeway, thereby limiting housing and population growth potential. Other regions rezoned abutting land to the freeway [Eastlink] and this rezoning does have a transformational impact.

The commissioned study predicts our Shire's population will increase slightly quicker than previously anticipated, some 2 - 3 years quicker, but this quickened growth will not cause any planning or program services headaches - 'we can cope with this'.
Population growth will come in at 1% p.a. and we have 150,000 permanent population now.

Our commercial activity centres will be able to accommodate new businesses - the retail mix will undergo change, but this is normal.

Please note we are already busy on the Mornington Peninsula - road traffic wise - and Peninsula Link has not caused this.
It is predicted that the catchment of east and south east Melbourne will grow by 500,000 over the next 25 years. This increase will have some impact on day tripping to the region, but remember there are other regions also just as easily accessible [Phillip Island, Yarra Valley, etc].

Perfect beach days will see a greater influx of beach visitors and we are likely to see parking and traffic congestion on these days. However this already happens now. The report suggests that visitors will self -regulate their visits to match conditions. i.e. if you have severe traffic congestion on a given day, will you repeat your experience or will you learn and modify your travel movements.

The access roads to Peninsula Link have been engineered to handle any likely or projected traffic volumes - we are not expecting any unmanageable congestion at these access points.

Council engineers and rangers will be monitoring traffic and parking congestion over the next two years to assess the impact of Peninsula Link and, if necessary, council will take action to alleviate matters – signage, parking inspections etc.

Council is working with VicRoads on the Rye Bypass - this summer data was starting to be collected and we hope to see an analysis of this in the next six months.

Council encourages you to participate in the up coming Peninsula Link Impacts Study community information sessions.

DDO17 – height restrictions within the Smaller Activity Centres

The amendment would essentially limit development to one or two storeys in the smaller centres.

Implications of the BMO (Bushfire Management Overlay) on building within the Wildcoast and vegetation?

The BMO (Bushfire Management Overlay) replaces the WMO (Wildfire Management Overlay).

The BMO places the absolute highest priority on protection of human life. As a consequence of this, the BMO seeks for new buildings to be constructed with an emphasis on the protection of human life.

The implications of the BMO on vegetation is much the same as the WMO, in that in order to construct a new building (i.e. a dwelling) a certain amount of vegetation is required to be removed around the footprint of that building to provide a defendable space. This does, in some respects, allow for "moonscaping" around new dwellings and is generally not supported by surrounding residents, especially residents on the southern Peninsula who usually seek the retention of all natural vegetation, particularly the ti-trees and moonah trees. The reality of this new planning control is that this will not be possible in every instance, that vegetation will need to be removed to create a defendable space.

The challenge for Council, the CFA and landowners is to provide some new landscaping around the new building to both provide defendable space and contribute to the landscape character of the area. This is a challenge; there are no hard and fast answers, and it is fair to say that there will need to be some compromise between existing residents (and what they want to 'see' in the area), Council in assessing these applications, and new residents in 'fitting into' the character of the area.

Development at 1 Hayes Road?
This is a double storey building of 4 apartments. VCAT approved the application in 2006. The development is almost complete. The application for subdivision was lodged after the building work commenced.

How can an applicant build a development of 4 apartments without subdivision approval from Council? Is it now just a rubber stamp approval?

It is a common occurrence for a subdivision application to be lodged after a development has been granted approval, and often after the commencement of construction of that development or even after its completion.

This is because the Planning and Environment Act 1987 deals primarily with land use and development, whereas the Subdivision Act deals formally with the subdivision of land. It does not necessarily follow, nor does it need to, that land would or should be subdivided even if it is developed for more than one dwelling. A lot of multi-unit developments seen around the Peninsula exist on one piece of land because the land remains in common ownership, or is not sold on after development, etc.

If a development has been granted approval and then subdivision of the land is applied for, then yes, that subdivision is just a "rubber stamp" approval. Provided the lines of the subdivision follow exactly the lines of the approved development, then the subdivision will most likely be granted approval.

44 Lansdowne Street Blairgowrie
We understand that under building guidelines 60% of the land can be covered with the hard build i.e. the house. This build appears to exceed the 60%.

Regulation 411 of the Building Regulations states that buildings must not occupy more than 60% of an allotment. However, when calculating site coverage, a number of exemptions apply and certain components such as decks, landings, swimming pools, etc are discounted. The site coverage for this development, in accordance with Regulation 411, is 51.2%.

Does the 60% increase if the property is connected to mains sewerage?

The 60% figure is not included in any wastewater legislation or the Shire's Wastewater Management Policy

Proposed developments in un-sewered areas need to comply with the Shire's Wastewater Management Policy before a septic permit can be issued. Building Regulation 801 requires a septic permit before a Building Permit can be issued
The wastewater policy sets out wastewater disposal requirements based on lot size, daily flow rate, soil type and
With regard to 44 Lansdowne St Blairgowrie, septic permit ST-2011/00283 was issued on 9 September 2011 for a 35 square metre wastewater disposal system.

This property was heavily wooded with Moonahs. Assume a vegetation plan was submitted. Does anyone from Shire signoff on the vegetation plan at the completion of the build to insure the vegetation plan is adhered to?

A planning permit was not required for works associated with the construction of a single dwelling at this address.

Vegetation removal was also exempt from the need for a planning permit because the vegetation was required to be removed to facilitate the construction of a dwelling - therefore no vegetation plan was submitted, nor required to be submitted.


And in closing,
Quote:
"Before beginning, plan carefully” – by
Marcus Tullis Cicero, Statesman & Orator (106-143 BC)

Southern Mornington Peninsula Sewerage Servicing Strategy


On the Southern Mornington Peninsula between Rye and Portsea approximately 1800 properties rely on septic tanks for waste management. The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and South East Water are keen to address the use of septic tanks due to the impacts on the ground water table and the low levels of contamination. Bores are commonly used throught the Peninsula and there are issues with contamination from leaking septic tanks.

The sewering of the Southern Mornington Peninsula will be a 10 - 15 year project.

Connection to the main sewerage line is optional for residents. The system to be installed is a pressure sewer scheme. This is a small diameter pipe network (50ml or 63 ml diameter) that it drilled in the street verge which gives minimal environmental impact. There are no deep wide trenches dug to facilitate the pipes. 1100 litre tanks are installed together with a control pump by South East Water - these remain the property of South East Water. The cost to households is plumbing work to connect the house sewer drain to the holding tank. Average cost to the household is between $1500 and $5000 depending on the extent of the plumbing works.  Average annual running costs are similar to current septic system costs.

For further information visit http://www.southeastwater.com.au or call the 1800 330 129

Erosion at Portsea Beach

Notes on Presentation made by Gerry Byrne at AGM on April 10
Gerry Byrne holds a Bachelor of Engineering and Post Graduate diploma of Hydraulic Engineering.  Has worked in USA, UK, New Zealand and across Asia and the South Pacific.

Gerry is a technical specialist providing services to government and the private sector on port planning, coastal engineering and coastal management in the Pacific, Asia and Australia.
  • DSE built a wall in front of the beach to protect assets.
  • Portsea Hotel worried about what was happening as it occurred at about the same time as the channel deepening.
  • The question is, is it caused the channel deepening.
  • The reasons given for the erosion:
  • DSE said it was caused by local storms
  • ParksVic said greenhouse and global warming
  • None of the above statements are true
  • OEM gave the channel deepening the "big tick".
  • If you build offshore breakwater you will get a build up of sand
  • Shelly beach is the best it has look for years so if due to storms Shelly Beach would erode
  • Portsea beach is part of Pt Phillip Bay
  • Wave peaks of 4 seconds probably originated in Port Phillip Bay
  • Wave peaks of 12 are waves which originate in Bass Straight or the Southern Ocean.
  • If the wave peaks are at 4 seconds this means no changes to the depth of the channel
  • What was needed:
    • You have to study the maths of what waves are doing and how they react with the seabed.
    • What it looked like before and after dredging
    • Historical analysis – now has been done
    • Gerry Byrne provided some advice to OEM when it developed terms of reference for a detailed study of the swell waves that affect Portsea front beach
  • Study now completed
  • Available on OEM website www.oem.vic.gov.au
  • It indicates that the dredging was not the cause of the erosion at Portsea
  • DSE had spent $2 – 3 m but had not found out what the problem was.
  • If the problem had been the dredging then a solution would have been to change the shape of the channel rather than armour the beach.
  • Natural shape of sea bed shows wave energy pushing to Portsea. – may not have been caused by dredging
  • Dredged channel pushing waves to Great Sands not Portsea
  • Eric Bird (Coastal Geomorphologist) on OIM website. www.oem.vic.gov.au
  • Showed a number of photos from the study by Dr Eric Bird for OEM depicting Portsea beach over the years including erosion at the beach.
  • Lorne not affected by channel deepening but monitoring equipment shows higher water levels in Bass Straight in 2009.
  • Hovel Pile has measuring equipment on it – 2009 higher water levels and tides
  • Water levels higher on NSW East coast – La Nina the cause. El Nino sea water is pushed to Sth American coastline – La Nina sea water is pushed to east coast of Australia – knock on effect around coast. All the evidence points to weather conditions over 2009 and 2010 as the cause for erosion.
  • Building concrete walls will not solve issue – vertical walls do not allow the wave energy to dissipate therefore causes sand erosion.
  • Historically the beaches come and go
  • Pillows protecting beach assets – knee jerk reaction.  Gerry Byrne believes that with the pillows in place the beach may not return
  • You have to wait 2 – 3 years to see what nature does.
  • Gerry's preferred action would have been
    • leave it and see what happens – there is more chance of the beach returning if left.
    • Extend the pillows out beyond the eastern headland temporarily so that it can "anchor" the beach. Not too big as this would starve Shelly and Kings beach.
  • Big swells are caused by storms in the southern ocean and Bass Strait. Higher water levels allow more wave energy to propagate towards Portsea





Become involved with the group in your area.

For further information regarding these groups, go to 'Committee' page.

  Current Issues

Portsea  Beach

The Nepean Ratepayers Association (NRA) and the Portsea Foreshore Advisory Group (PFAG ) have been representing the public interest over the past 5 years by maintaining pressure on DELWP, and the State Government, initially to find the cause of the ocean swells that first appeared in 2009, and secondly to find a solution to divert the ocean swells so that the beach could be re-established.

Following our efforts, a series of reports to Government have established that the cause of the beach disappearing was the dredging in the course of channel deepening project.   The latest report, in December 2016 by Advisian, examined 6 options for dealing with the ongoing ocean swells landing at Portsea front beach.  Only one of these envisaged diversion of the swells, enabling reinstatement of the beach, and was the only solution we urged upon the Government.  This option is to reshape a nearby section of the seabed to divert the ocean swells away from Portsea front beach, reinstating the historic wave and sand movement. 

In June 2017 the key stakeholder group were asked to meet the Chief Adviser to the Minister, Lily d’Ambrosio,  to hear of her decision.   That decision is to replace the existing sand bag wall with a permanent rock revetment wall, as has been dumped on the west side of the Pier. This is the worst option to choose, because no beach can be established where any wall is constructed, as the swells bounce away, taking all sand with them.  It means the beach will forever remain unusable to young beach swimmers, to the Portsea SLSC Little Nippers, for SCUBA tuition, and other normal beach uses.  Further, the Pier will continue to suffer punishment from swells and boat impacts, requiring earlier and greater maintenance of that structure.

The Government has chosen the rock revetment wall option because it is the cheapest course.  It is not related to the fairness or the practicality of solving the problem.

We think this result is totally unacceptable, because it will perpetuate an existing environmental, commercial and social disaster for Portsea village.

As a result, NRA and PFAG have decided to launch a campaign to lobby the Government to change its decision and return Portsea Beach to original condition. 


See links below. 
https://www.coastsandmarine.vic.gov.au/coastal-programs/portsea

The following are Conclusions from the Cardno, CSIRO and Water Technology  Reports,

Cardno Report:   March 2011

Conclusions

 The conclusions are the following:

 1.   The Great Sands as a region is stable on a timescale of human lifetime, but there are areas of mobile sand which are continually changing.

 2.   There are no identifiable changes in the stability of the Great Sands as a region which can be attributed to channel deepening activities.

 3.   There are no identifiable changes in the Great Sands that are attributable to CDP activities that are inconsistent with SEES predictions. Apart from the shipping channels which were dredged, there are no areas which have plausibly changed depth due to the CDP.

 4.   The LADS survey data identifies areas of mobile sand waves, particularly in South Channel, east of Schnapper Deep and in the west on the southern side of the channel. Mobile sand is also identified north of Popes Eye, in Symonds Channel and east of Pinnace Channel. The locations of these areas are consistent with the sediment transport modelling originally undertaken for the SEES and the post dredging refined sediment transport modelling.

 5.   Analysis of the LADS survey data shows there are no identifiable changes to Mud Islands or Swan Island that are attributable to CDP activities.

 6.   The analysis of beach profiles taken from the LADS surveys does not identify any changes in the beaches which can be attributed to CDP. The LADS analysis shows that there is accretion on a number of beaches and very little erosion.

 7.   The comparison of wave heights from modelling before and after dredging shows there is no significant difference in the wave heights off Portsea and adjacent areas in the pre and post-dredging scenarios.

 8.   Further comparison of wave height patterns, and therefore wave energy patterns, in this section of the Bay also does not reveal any significant differences for the pre and post-dredging scenarios.

 9.   Analysis of the measured sea-level and wave data in 2009 shows there were several events of exceptionally high sea-levels accompanied by high wave-conditions emanating from Bass Strait. This combination of naturally occurring extreme weather events is the most plausible explanation for initiating beach erosion on the Nepean Peninsula including the localised area of erosion on the Portsea Front Beach. The refined sediment transport modelling indicated less impact upon sediment transport in the Great Sands from deepening of the channels than was predicted for the SEES. This is consistent with the LADS survey data.

 10.Any observable effects of sediment transport in the dredged areas are likely to be limited to the sand-wave fields in South Channel West and South Channel East, east of Schnapper Deep.

 11.  The pattern and rate of change on beaches in the southern part of Port Phillip Bay during the past 2 years (during and post CDP) is consistent with that documented over the past 150  years.

CSIRO Report:  April 2013

Conclusions

 The major conclusions drawn from this and other studies that were available to the OEM are;

 1.     While beaches do experience significant natural variability the record of shoreline position based on sparse historic photographs is not sufficient to distinguish between differences in tidal elevation, short term storm response, seasonal variability and longer term changes.

 2.     Following the CDP changes in sea level, currents and large scale sediment transport pathways were assessed to be minimal.

 3.     Wave heights at Point Nepean and water levels at Hovell Pile in 2009 were the highest at the 0.05%, 0.1% and 0.5% exceedance level in 8 year record from 2003-2008 and coincided more frequently with higher sea levels associated with storm surge and astronomical tides.

 4.     In a numerical study of wave propagation from Bass Straight through the Entrance and into Port Phillip Bay, Cardno (2011) reported no change in wave conditions following the CDP. The model results did suggest a focussing of wave energy towards the Portsea region and very minor increases in wave height at Portsea (less than ~3%) post-dredging that were considered insignificant. Results of ray tracing analysis (reported in OEM’s third dot point) showed waves reaching Portsea did not pass over the dredged channel. However, given the very localised nature of the erosion at Portsea small changes to the model through various parameter settings, different formulations of wave physics and bathymetry could change the local wave conditions.

 5.     Wave modelling reported by Water technology (2013) also shows a focussing of wave energy towards Portsea Beach but, in contrast to Cardno (2011), a comparison using pre and post CDP bathymetries shows a 7-10% increase in significant wave height. When the significant wave height outside the entrance is 2m the corresponding wave heights at Portsea before and after the CDP are 0.32m and 0.35m respectively.

 6.      A change in the local wave conditions is the likely cause of the erosion at Portsea, however the absence of long wave records at Portsea beach that predate the erosion event and CDP do not allow this to be quantified. Evidence suggests that naturally occurring storm events produced high sea levels and waves that were a primary mechanism for enhanced erosion. However, evidence from wave modelling studies also indicates that it is conceivable that the CDP may have increased the height of waves impacting the beach at Portsea and therefore some degree of attribution to the CDP is possible. In this regard it is therefore also conceivable that the CDP may have not only contributed to the erosion that has been observed, it may have impeded subsequent recovery of the beach. The limited number of wave modeling scenarios considered and the uncertainties associated with assumptions used in the modeling lead to only moderate confidence in the modeling results. Higher confidence in the wave modeling results could be achieved by

a.     providing more evidence of wave model validation using additional wave data collected at Portsea  since the CDP,

b.     investigating the sensitivity of the findings to model resolution under a greater range of tidal, sea level and wave conditions.

 7.     In summary, this review concludes that it is not possible to attribute the erosion observed at Portsea to a single causal factor since a range of factors operating on different time and space scales may be contributing. It is conceivable that the CDP has contributed to the erosion. However the extent of model investigations is not sufficiently detailed to ascertain if this is the case and if so what fraction of the changes in wave height can be attributed to the CDP.

Water Technology Report:  March 2013

Conclusions

The following summarises the main conclusions from the review and analysis of wave transformation processes through Port Phillip Heads:

 1.   The analysis undertaken in this review predicts that the main change to wave transformation processes following the completion of the CDP has been associated with an increase in the total internal reflection of wave energy along the bathymetric discontinuities created by the CDP dredging. The analysis predicts the total internal reflections are predominately occurring along the bathymetric discontinuities created at the ‘Entrance Approach Channel’, ‘South Channel West’ and the ‘South Channel Sediment Traps’.

 2.   The absolute magnitude of the changes in significant wave heights predicted due to total internal reflections are relatively small and vary from a few centimetres to up to 0.1m locally under average type ocean wave conditions. Absolute changes in mean wave directions of greater than 50 are predicted adjacent to the bathymetric discontinuities created by the CDP.

 3.   In relative percentage terms, the predicted changes to wave transformation processes associated with the CDP dredging result in predicted local increases in significant wave heights between approximately 7-10% at Portsea Front Beach, and a relative decrease of between 5-7% is predicted for Lonsdale Bight. Significant, percentage changes to wave heights are also predicted immediately adjacent to the bathymetric discontinuities associated with the CDP dredging.

 4.   The non-linear relationship between wave height and wave energy yields predicted percentage changes in wave energy density locally of 15-20% at Portsea Front   Beach, with corresponding decreases of 10-15% in Lonsdale Bight. 

 5.   Testing of incident wave directions representing the majority of the incident wave energy at Port Phillip Heads found that the extent of the changes identified were insensitive to incident wave direction and the testing suggests that the predicted changes to wave transformations associated with the CDP exist under the majority of incident wave conditions.

 6.   Modelling analysis using the series of Post CDP bathymetric scenarios derived from various surveys of the study area showed that the predicted changes to wave transformation associated with the CDP were able to be reproduced with reasonable consistency across these surveys and time periods following the completion of the  CDP.

 7.   The modelling analysis using the series of Post CDP bathymetric scenarios showed that over time, natural variations in bathymetry can result in additional changes to wave transformation processes, however, testing of the 2010 NO CDP bathymetric scenario showed that these changes could be clearly distinguished from the predicted changes associated with the CDP bathymetric changes.

 8.   The various sources and contributing factors that influence the level of certainty that can be prescribed to the findings of this analysis have been reviewed. A number of sources of uncertainty were identified that relate to the schematisation of the bathymetry, the numerical modelling scheme and the specification of the ocean wave boundary conditions.  However, these sources of uncertainty are generally expected to result in an underestimation of the changes identified in this analysis

9.   The major source of uncertainty that could influence the relative significance of the main changes to the wave transformations predicted in this analysis is considered the extent to which tidal currents intensify and subdue the total internal reflections from the bathymetric discontinuities created by the CDP. The net impact of tidal currents on the percentage change in wave conditions will be related to the extent of asymmetry between flood and ebb tide current speeds at these locations.



Below is our letter of the 13th March to Ms Kelly Crosthwaite;   DELWAP

Dear Ms Crosthwaite

 Thank you for your letter dated 25 February 2015. I have discussed it with David Syme, Chairman of the Portsea Foreshore Advisory Group (PFAG), as our two organisations represent the strongest body of community interest and opinion in relation to the present situation at Portsea. We think it is important that we advise you of our continuing concerns about the efforts to date to rescue the Portsea front beach.

You may be aware that prior to the change of Government, Ryan Smith as Environmental Minister was very supportive of the ongoing drive to find and install a viable, long term solution for re-establishment of the Portsea Beach. Many senior people in your Department, including Rodney Warren and Travis Dowling, were genuine in their efforts to achieve this.

Since the change of Government in 2014, we have become aware of one policy change which appears to have been made, but which is inconsistent with the apparent legal obligations enjoyed by, most relevantly, the lessee of land in the Point Nepean National Park with a lease for the development of commercial undertakings in that park.

Whilst we are very appreciate of the support and goodwill exhibited by your department to date, it is worrying to our community that major projects committed to by the previous government are to be abandoned or are under some other form of threat. Accordingly we ask for your assurances that the plans to rectify the issue at Portsea Beach by the new Government are not under any such threat.

As outlined in your letter we have noted with concern that no variation of the Worley Parsons contract, as previously discussed in our recent meeting, could be initiated to include finding solutions to the problem. This decision was based on advice from your legal department.

However your department did agree, within the original scope of the tender, to examine sand drift from the Nepean Bay coastline to the offshore sand shoals, sand shoal dynamics and migration patterns and near-shore and beach dynamics.

Studies to date by Water Technology and Worley Parsons have reached the same conclusions with where the refraction is occurring. We must emphasise that unless the additional data is essential to identifying a solution to diverting the wave pattern it is therefore wasteful of public funds. These funds ought to be applied directly to finding a solution.

As the prevailing wave pattern was first observed in 2009, we think it is irrefutable that these conclusions have taken far too long to reach. We are adamant that finding a solution to what is plainly an environmental disaster, needs to be fast tracked as the community has lost patience and will require far more aggressive activity by its representatives.

 For these reasons we are requesting that steps be taken immediately to address all matters that are required:

  • First, find and publish a suitable solution
  • Second, obtain from the Government these assurances:

o   that these steps will be agreed to within a stated time frame;

o   that works required will be funded by the Government; and

o   that finally, when the works are completed and are successful, that all remedial works that have been done at Portsea to primarily protect the assets behind the dune are removed and the beach bought back to its original condition, a beach that was known as one of the most iconic front beaches in Australia.

 

Yours sincerely

Colin Watson  :   President  Nepean Ratepayers Association

David Syme:  Chair  Portsea Foreshore Advisory Group



Reformed Residential Zones

 

The State Government recently amended General Residential Zones under amendment VC110.  These changes were made with NO consultation with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council or the community.     

The most controversial change is: 

•     The discretionary maximum building height of 9 metres will be replaced by a new mandatory 
       maximum building height of 11 metres, with a new 3 storey height limit

Most of the Nepean Ward is zoned General Residential Zone 1 and whilst height limits are protected and restricted to 8 metres under Design and Development Overlays 2, 3, 4 and 5 there are large areas within the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council that are not covered by DDOs.   There is no guarantee that the Government will not over-ride these protective DDO’s in the future.  

The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has requested community support in their push to protect our townships from inappropriate development and the negative impact of the new planning changes. The Council has sought to introduce an interim Design and Development Overlay (Amendment C212) to ensure that development is not inconsistent with the role and character of Mornington Peninsula townships. The interim DDO will introduce a height control of 9 metres and two storeys to those areas which do not already have an existing DDO protecting height limits.

The NRA urges you to write to the relevant decision makers listed below and reiterate the special character of the Mornington Peninsula and why three storey houses/units  are not appropriate.

A link to the proposed changes can be found at:      http://www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/Building-Planning/Strategic-Planning/Residential-Building-Heights-Planning-Changes

The Hon. Richard Wynne
Minister for Planning
Level 16, 8 Spring Street
East Melbourne Vic 3002

Mr Peter Keogh
Chief of Staff to the Minister for Planning
Level 16, 8 Spring Street
East Melbourne Vic 3002

Ms Christine Wyatt
Acting Secretary
Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning
PO Box 500
East Melbourne Vic 8002

Mr Daniel Mulino
Member for Eastern Victoria
Unit 1, 23 James Street
Pakenham  VIC 3810

For further commentary and opinion on this issue see:    www.morningtonpensinsulabandicoot.com 



Past AGMs
Nepean Ratepayers Association : 2012 Annual General Meeting
Sunday, 1 April 2012, at 2.30 p.m.
Sorrento Senior Citizens Hall, corner Queen & Melbourne Roads

Stephen Chapple : Speaker Notes

Thankyou for the opportunity to be here today with you. On behalf of the Council, we thankyou for your active interest, commitment, strong advocacy & partnership between the community and Council.

Congratulations to the President, Secretary, and newly elected committee. I also welcome the four Councillors here today. The Committee has asked me to address the following questions:

1. Sustainability – does the current planning scheme enforce sustainability for domestic and commercial building.

Yes, the current Planning Scheme contains both policy (State and Local) and specific provisions to encourage sustainability within new buildings.
It is expected that Council will shortly be publishing "fact files" explaining how design contributes to environment sustainability.

There is a fine line between what the Planning Scheme can tackle (in terms of requiring) in terms of this topic. Many VCAT decisions have been tough on Councils that try to enforce sustainability in planning Schemes, with VCAT predominantly suggesting that environmental sustainability is best dealt with under the building regulations and not planning regulations.

In that regard, it is Council officers’ opinion that Council is better to advocate for changes to the State Policy within the Planning Scheme to mandate environmental sustainable design. And to this extent, Council participates in the Council Alliance for Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) along with a long list of other Victorian Councils. This alliance seeks to make and promote change at the state level. 

2. Melbourne 2030 Are we still part of Melbourne 2030’s urban development? Should the Nepean Ward (and those areas abutting the Wildcoast and green wedge in other Wards) be considered part of Urban Melbourne?
Yes, MPSC is part of Melbourne 2030 and subsequent strategy Melbourne @ 5 Million- we are considered to be complimentary to the metropolitan area and therefore part of the greater area. Whether or not Nepean Ward should be part of the greater Melbourne metro area is ultimately a question for the State Government/Planning Minister. Notwithstanding, Council would always seek to advocate its position to the State. Council has and will continue to, maintain a strong commitment to the existing Urban Growth Boundary. The State government is currently preparing the Metropolitan Melbourne Strategy and will shortly commence a Mornington Peninsula Planning Statement. It is expected Council and the community will play a significant role in the development of the Mornington Peninsula Planning Statement.

In this regard, Council seeks to maintain a 70/30 split of non-urban/urban across the Mornington Peninsula.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your view, the Nepean Ward complements that by providing opportunity for residential development and opportunity for non-residential, and no development, given the large areas of National Park.
Council's current position is that the 70/30 split is appropriate and that no changes should be made to the urban growth boundary - neither to increase or decrease its size. This may be disagreeable to some, however MPSC has been working toward this and working to maintain this goal since the early 1970s.

Since that time, it is fair to say that the concept of "development" has changed - where people used to build smaller houses, larger houses are being built now. Where people used to opt for larger gardens; people are now choosing smaller/low maintenance gardens.

There is a fine line as to the extent to which Council can "control" this, especially seeing that properties in the Nepean Ward are often highly valuable - therefore some land owners seek to build as much as possible, the land they have.
If yes, how do we protect the natural beauty of these areas from over development?

There are already controls in place to protect natural beauty; there are planning scheme zones and overlays.

Although the Ratepayers Group don't always agree with this, Council by virtue of its Planning Scheme and the objectives/goals within this document, acknowledges, accepts and encourages that some change will occur to facilitate appropriate and responsible development.

Council encourages such development in residentially zoned areas (much of Nepean is in this zone) to accommodate Green Wedge zones where tighter controls exist around development.
Tightening planning controls in Nepean Ward will have ramifications for other wards and Council's strategic vision for the whole of the Peninsula and not just one ward.

How do we retain our neighbourhood character? Are your planning officers aware of the unique neighbourhood character as referred to in the MSS of Blairgowrie/Sorrento/Portsea?

Again, there are planning controls in place to protect neighbourhood character.
There is however a difference between "retaining" and being "sympathetic" to neighbourhood character. We have spoken to the Nepean Coalition at least three times about this difference over the past 12 months. Retaining is allowing only carbon copies of existing dwellings to be built - this is not realistic - it does not reflect the high price of land in Nepean Ward, it does not reflect the lifestyles of some people who opt to live on the Mornington Peninsula and it does not allow higher densities in those areas of the Mornington Peninsula (that 30% of the Mornington Peninsula) where "urban" development is accepted and encouraged.

Planning officers are acutely aware of the unique character of the Nepean Ward, and the Mornington Peninsula as a whole. Many of our planners have grown up in the local community, have lived here for many years and have a deep understanding and respect for the unique amenity of the area. Team South (statutory planners) specialises in these areas, being a geographically based town planning team dealing with Blairgowrie, Boneo, Cape Schanck, Fingal, Rosebud, Rosebud South & West, Rye, Sorrento, St Andrews Beach, Tootgarook and Portsea.

There will also however often be a difference of opinion between those that seek to retain the status quo and those that understand that some change is inevitable, acceptable and appropriate, provided it picks up on key elements of the character of the area - window shapes and sizes, use of weatherboards, pitch of roofs, etc.
Effects on planning approvals following the completion of the sewering of the southern Mornington Peninsula? The lack of sewerage has been a physical limitation on the intensity of subdivision and development in some areas - and with the completion of backlog sewerage programs there will no doubt be additional development pressure.

However, the availability of sewerage does not override the existing planning controls - such as the design and development overlays which establish minimum lot size requirements etc.

The best location for new housing is the subject of Council's Housing and Sustainable Settlements Study (still in progress) – and, while areas around commercial activity centres are often considered as potential locations for medium density housing, this is not always the case. In terms of sustainability, areas with relatively poor access to employment, higher education facilities, public transport services etc, which are limitations and apply to many areas on the southern peninsula, are not considered good prospects for major increases in population. This is consistent with the previous strategy (established by the Flinders Shire) which was referred to as ‘Living in a Recreation Area', which gave greater weight to the protection of character and environmental values than on achieving infill development - highlighting a different set of planning priorities - which still apply despite the availability of sewerage.

Effects of Peninsula Link on development and tourism?
Council recently commissioned a study (Peninsula Links Impacts Study) to forecast likely impacts on the region when the freeway is completed in early 2013.

The study looked at other regions where similar new freeways has happened and also consulted with road traffic experts, demographers, economic planners, strategic planners, estate agents and government agencies.

A key point is Peninsula Link will not be the sole contributing factor to changes occurring now and in the near term on the Mornington Peninsula. There are many other factors e.g. aged population, other access routes onto the Mornington Peninsula, cheaper land elsewhere [Mornington Peninsula land is relatively expensive when compared to Cranbourne etc…] and the high $AUD etc…

Owing to Council defending the 70:30 land split there will be no rezoning or subdividing of rural land along the freeway, thereby limiting housing and population growth potential. Other regions rezoned abutting land to the freeway [Eastlink] and this rezoning does have a transformational impact.

The commissioned study predicts our Shire's population will increase slightly quicker than previously anticipated, some 2 - 3 years quicker, but this quickened growth will not cause any planning or program services headaches - 'we can cope with this'.
Population growth will come in at 1% p.a. and we have 150,000 permanent population now.

Our commercial activity centres will be able to accommodate new businesses - the retail mix will undergo change, but this is normal.

Please note we are already busy on the Mornington Peninsula - road traffic wise - and Peninsula Link has not caused this.
It is predicted that the catchment of east and south east Melbourne will grow by 500,000 over the next 25 years. This increase will have some impact on day tripping to the region, but remember there are other regions also just as easily accessible [Phillip Island, Yarra Valley, etc].

Perfect beach days will see a greater influx of beach visitors and we are likely to see parking and traffic congestion on these days. However this already happens now. The report suggests that visitors will self -regulate their visits to match conditions. i.e. if you have severe traffic congestion on a given day, will you repeat your experience or will you learn and modify your travel movements.

The access roads to Peninsula Link have been engineered to handle any likely or projected traffic volumes - we are not expecting any unmanageable congestion at these access points.

Council engineers and rangers will be monitoring traffic and parking congestion over the next two years to assess the impact of Peninsula Link and, if necessary, council will take action to alleviate matters – signage, parking inspections etc.

Council is working with VicRoads on the Rye Bypass - this summer data was starting to be collected and we hope to see an analysis of this in the next six months.

Council encourages you to participate in the up coming Peninsula Link Impacts Study community information sessions.

DDO17 – height restrictions within the Smaller Activity Centres

The amendment would essentially limit development to one or two storeys in the smaller centres.

Implications of the BMO (Bushfire Management Overlay) on building within the Wildcoast and vegetation?

The BMO (Bushfire Management Overlay) replaces the WMO (Wildfire Management Overlay).

The BMO places the absolute highest priority on protection of human life. As a consequence of this, the BMO seeks for new buildings to be constructed with an emphasis on the protection of human life.

The implications of the BMO on vegetation is much the same as the WMO, in that in order to construct a new building (i.e. a dwelling) a certain amount of vegetation is required to be removed around the footprint of that building to provide a defendable space. This does, in some respects, allow for "moonscaping" around new dwellings and is generally not supported by surrounding residents, especially residents on the southern Peninsula who usually seek the retention of all natural vegetation, particularly the ti-trees and moonah trees. The reality of this new planning control is that this will not be possible in every instance, that vegetation will need to be removed to create a defendable space.

The challenge for Council, the CFA and landowners is to provide some new landscaping around the new building to both provide defendable space and contribute to the landscape character of the area. This is a challenge; there are no hard and fast answers, and it is fair to say that there will need to be some compromise between existing residents (and what they want to 'see' in the area), Council in assessing these applications, and new residents in 'fitting into' the character of the area.

Development at 1 Hayes Road?
This is a double storey building of 4 apartments. VCAT approved the application in 2006. The development is almost complete. The application for subdivision was lodged after the building work commenced.

How can an applicant build a development of 4 apartments without subdivision approval from Council? Is it now just a rubber stamp approval?

It is a common occurrence for a subdivision application to be lodged after a development has been granted approval, and often after the commencement of construction of that development or even after its completion.

This is because the Planning and Environment Act 1987 deals primarily with land use and development, whereas the Subdivision Act deals formally with the subdivision of land. It does not necessarily follow, nor does it need to, that land would or should be subdivided even if it is developed for more than one dwelling. A lot of multi-unit developments seen around the Peninsula exist on one piece of land because the land remains in common ownership, or is not sold on after development, etc.

If a development has been granted approval and then subdivision of the land is applied for, then yes, that subdivision is just a "rubber stamp" approval. Provided the lines of the subdivision follow exactly the lines of the approved development, then the subdivision will most likely be granted approval.

44 Lansdowne Street Blairgowrie
We understand that under building guidelines 60% of the land can be covered with the hard build i.e. the house. This build appears to exceed the 60%.

Regulation 411 of the Building Regulations states that buildings must not occupy more than 60% of an allotment. However, when calculating site coverage, a number of exemptions apply and certain components such as decks, landings, swimming pools, etc are discounted. The site coverage for this development, in accordance with Regulation 411, is 51.2%.

Does the 60% increase if the property is connected to mains sewerage?

The 60% figure is not included in any wastewater legislation or the Shire's Wastewater Management Policy

Proposed developments in un-sewered areas need to comply with the Shire's Wastewater Management Policy before a septic permit can be issued. Building Regulation 801 requires a septic permit before a Building Permit can be issued
The wastewater policy sets out wastewater disposal requirements based on lot size, daily flow rate, soil type and
With regard to 44 Lansdowne St Blairgowrie, septic permit ST-2011/00283 was issued on 9 September 2011 for a 35 square metre wastewater disposal system.

This property was heavily wooded with Moonahs. Assume a vegetation plan was submitted. Does anyone from Shire signoff on the vegetation plan at the completion of the build to insure the vegetation plan is adhered to?

A planning permit was not required for works associated with the construction of a single dwelling at this address.

Vegetation removal was also exempt from the need for a planning permit because the vegetation was required to be removed to facilitate the construction of a dwelling - therefore no vegetation plan was submitted, nor required to be submitted.


And in closing,
Quote:
"Before beginning, plan carefully” – by
Marcus Tullis Cicero, Statesman & Orator (106-143 BC)

Southern Mornington Peninsula Sewerage Servicing Strategy


On the Southern Mornington Peninsula between Rye and Portsea approximately 1800 properties rely on septic tanks for waste management. The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and South East Water are keen to address the use of septic tanks due to the impacts on the ground water table and the low levels of contamination. Bores are commonly used throught the Peninsula and there are issues with contamination from leaking septic tanks.

The sewering of the Southern Mornington Peninsula will be a 10 - 15 year project.

Connection to the main sewerage line is optional for residents. The system to be installed is a pressure sewer scheme. This is a small diameter pipe network (50ml or 63 ml diameter) that it drilled in the street verge which gives minimal environmental impact. There are no deep wide trenches dug to facilitate the pipes. 1100 litre tanks are installed together with a control pump by South East Water - these remain the property of South East Water. The cost to households is plumbing work to connect the house sewer drain to the holding tank. Average cost to the household is between $1500 and $5000 depending on the extent of the plumbing works.  Average annual running costs are similar to current septic system costs.

For further information visit http://www.southeastwater.com.au or call the 1800 330 129

Erosion at Portsea Beach

Notes on Presentation made by Gerry Byrne at AGM on April 10
Gerry Byrne holds a Bachelor of Engineering and Post Graduate diploma of Hydraulic Engineering.  Has worked in USA, UK, New Zealand and across Asia and the South Pacific.

Gerry is a technical specialist providing services to government and the private sector on port planning, coastal engineering and coastal management in the Pacific, Asia and Australia.
  • DSE built a wall in front of the beach to protect assets.
  • Portsea Hotel worried about what was happening as it occurred at about the same time as the channel deepening.
  • The question is, is it caused the channel deepening.
  • The reasons given for the erosion:
  • DSE said it was caused by local storms
  • ParksVic said greenhouse and global warming
  • None of the above statements are true
  • OEM gave the channel deepening the "big tick".
  • If you build offshore breakwater you will get a build up of sand
  • Shelly beach is the best it has look for years so if due to storms Shelly Beach would erode
  • Portsea beach is part of Pt Phillip Bay
  • Wave peaks of 4 seconds probably originated in Port Phillip Bay
  • Wave peaks of 12 are waves which originate in Bass Straight or the Southern Ocean.
  • If the wave peaks are at 4 seconds this means no changes to the depth of the channel
  • What was needed:
    • You have to study the maths of what waves are doing and how they react with the seabed.
    • What it looked like before and after dredging
    • Historical analysis – now has been done
    • Gerry Byrne provided some advice to OEM when it developed terms of reference for a detailed study of the swell waves that affect Portsea front beach
  • Study now completed
  • Available on OEM website www.oem.vic.gov.au
  • It indicates that the dredging was not the cause of the erosion at Portsea
  • DSE had spent $2 – 3 m but had not found out what the problem was.
  • If the problem had been the dredging then a solution would have been to change the shape of the channel rather than armour the beach.
  • Natural shape of sea bed shows wave energy pushing to Portsea. – may not have been caused by dredging
  • Dredged channel pushing waves to Great Sands not Portsea
  • Eric Bird (Coastal Geomorphologist) on OIM website. www.oem.vic.gov.au
  • Showed a number of photos from the study by Dr Eric Bird for OEM depicting Portsea beach over the years including erosion at the beach.
  • Lorne not affected by channel deepening but monitoring equipment shows higher water levels in Bass Straight in 2009.
  • Hovel Pile has measuring equipment on it – 2009 higher water levels and tides
  • Water levels higher on NSW East coast – La Nina the cause. El Nino sea water is pushed to Sth American coastline – La Nina sea water is pushed to east coast of Australia – knock on effect around coast. All the evidence points to weather conditions over 2009 and 2010 as the cause for erosion.
  • Building concrete walls will not solve issue – vertical walls do not allow the wave energy to dissipate therefore causes sand erosion.
  • Historically the beaches come and go
  • Pillows protecting beach assets – knee jerk reaction.  Gerry Byrne believes that with the pillows in place the beach may not return
  • You have to wait 2 – 3 years to see what nature does.
  • Gerry's preferred action would have been
    • leave it and see what happens – there is more chance of the beach returning if left.
    • Extend the pillows out beyond the eastern headland temporarily so that it can "anchor" the beach. Not too big as this would starve Shelly and Kings beach.
  • Big swells are caused by storms in the southern ocean and Bass Strait. Higher water levels allow more wave energy to propagate towards Portsea





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