Greenfield subdivisions are a large proportion of new housing development in regional Victoria. The design of urban areas has long-term effects on the environment, resources and on the health and running costs of households. Subdivision design is therefore important to the long-term sustainability of Victoria’s regional centres and their communities.
In August 2017, eight regional councils engaged AECOM to explore the feasibility of establishing best practice ESD for regional greenfield subdivisions. Wodonga City Council, on behalf of the eight partner councils, and AECOM co-presented the findings from this project at the annual MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference 2018 in Shepparton. The presentation can be found here.
The project investigation identified that while subdivisions and dwellings are intrinsically linked, there is a disconnect between subdivision and dwelling outcomes due to gaps between planning and building systems and lack of statutory tools to assess ESD subdivisions. Additional constraints identified included the separate development processes of land and housing, highly competitive and price sensitive volume home market and resourcing challenges for regional councils. Currently ESD opportunities for subdivisions are not being fully realised.
However the report also identified many opportunities for incorporating ESD principles into subdivision, including optimizing site potential, increasing tree canopy and increased use of recycled road material.
Next steps for the project involve the partner councils undertaking community consultation with the aim to conduct further research and produce education resources.
Partner councils include: City of Ballarat, Baw Baw Shire Council, City of Greater Bendigo, City of Greater Geelong, Moorabool Shire Council, Greater Shepparton City Council, Rural City of Wangaratta, City of Wodonga.