Bendigo, a compact city: Residential Strategy to go before council

Bendigo Urban Area: Residential Growth Framework. Picture: City of Greater Bendigo
Bendigo Urban Area: Residential Growth Framework. Picture: City of Greater Bendigo

PLANS to significantly boost the population living within one kilometre of central Bendigo and the idea of "10-minute neigbourhoods" are part of a strategy to go before City of Greater Bendigo council this week.

The Residential Strategy, which will be considered at council's meeting on Wednesday night, is part of the City's plan to cater for substantial population growth across the Greater Bendigo area, estimated to be 200,000 by 2041.

The strategy was informed by 134 formal submissions to the draft strategy, and significant community views to emerge during the consultation process included support for a compact city, more housing choices, building 10-minute neighbourhoods and retaining the urban growth boundary.

Strategic planner Andrew Cockerall said the strategy had a "firm focus on growth occurring within the urban growth boundary", rather than continued urban sprawl.

The other focus would be on growth in smaller towns such as Marong, Elmore, Axedale and Heathcote.

Mr Cockerall said another key recommendation was the idea of 10-minute neighbourhoods, "the concept of people being able to readily access some of their daily needs" in a 10-minute radius.

The recommendation that Bendigo become a compact city included plans to increase the number of people living within one kilometre of Bendigo's central post office from the current figure of 700.

"We want to substantially increase that to 3000 people," he said.

He said key sites across the CBD would become pockets of high-density development to accommodate the growth.

Housing diversity and housing quality were other issues the strategy sought to address, Mr Cockerall said.

"Certainly there are examples of fairly poorly designed residential development, particularly medium-density housing," he said.

Mr Cockerall said one significant change to the strategy was that the Quarry Hill Golf Course was no longer designated as an investigation area.

He said the golf course attracted a lot of interest in submissions and council had decided the golf course should stay where it is.

"What we're saying is if and when at some future stage the golf club may wind up, we suggest the best use of that land is for residential and open space," he said.

"Certainly in terms of land supply available, it’s not needed at this stage."

Residential Strategy stats at a glance

- Aspirational population target of 200,000 for Greater Bendigo by 2041. State government and City of Greater Bendigo have adopted this target under the Loddon Mallee South Regional Growth Plan.

- Between 2014 and 2031, the City needs to build an average of 820 dwellings per year.

- Plans to increasing the population who reside in 1km radius of Bendigo's central post office from 700 to 3000.

- Eleven sites across CBD earmarked as holding potential for development. 

- Council estimates 100 to 150 people need to move to the City per year for the next 17 years to meet population target.

- About one or two key developments a year. 


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