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Amendment C56 - Diamond Gully Structure Plan implementation

Amendment C56 proposes to implement the Diamond Gully Structure Plan into the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme.

Diamond Gully will be Castlemaine’s primary urban growth area and the structure plan is intended to guide the residential transformation of this area.


The Diamond Gully area was identified for residential growth in a number of Council's strategies including the Urban Living Strategy and Castlemaine Residential Study. In 2004 Council starting investigating and preparing the Diamond Gully Structure Plan.

Diamond Gully is identified on the Castlemaine Land Use Framework Plan (included at clause 21.03 of the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme) as Castlemaine’s primary urban growth area. The area is located at the south-western edge of Castlemaine and covers an area of 182 hectares. The area has the potential to meet the projected demand for new residential land at Castlemaine over the next 15 years.

The Diamond Gully Structure Plan was adopted by Council in April 2010. However the start of an amendment to the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme to give effect to the Structure Plan was delayed due to the need to revise the plan to take into account the bushfire planning provisions introduced following the 2009 Bushfires Royal Commission. Following changes to state-wide bushfire policy at the end of 2011 and in 2012, Council undertook another bushfire assessment of the area and commissioned a review of the Structure Plan.

The Structure Plan identifies the preferred urban form for the area, and provides for connectivity and linkages within the area and externally to Castlemaine and Campbell’s Creek.

The Structure Plan has been prepared with regard to the need to promote subdivision and residential development against other considerations including the protection of wildlife and human life with regard to bushfire danger. It also considers the potential for contamination of land proximate to the Castlemaine landfill and areas previously used for landfilling.

The Structure Plan identifies various development outcomes for the different areas which make up the structure plan. These outcomes range from conventional residential densities (500 – 1000 m2 lots) in the infill residential areas in the northern part of the site, conventional and medium density densities in the southern greenfield areas, and low density residential densities (1ha – 2ha) in the perimeter areas.

In July 2016 Council adopted Amendment C56 and the revised Diamond Gully Structure Plan, and submitted the amendment to the Minister for Planning for approval.

What the amendment does

The amendment proposes to introduce the Diamond Gully Structure Plan into the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme as an Incorporated Document to ensure that development in the area is in accordance with the Structure Plan.

The amendment also proposes to make a number of changes to the Local Planning Policy Framework as a result of the Structure Plan. These changes are:
- Introducing a local policy for Diamond Gully to give effect to specific policy directions for the area.
- Referencing completion of the Structure Plan in the Municipal Strategic Statement, and
- Introducing the Structure Plan as a reference document to the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme.

The amendment also proposes to make a number of changes, as recommended in the Structure Plan. These changes are:
- Rezone a strip of Industrial 1 Zone land within the Structure Plan area to part General Residential Zone (GRZ1) and part Industrial 3 Zone.
- Correct anomalies where parcels of land are in multiple zones as a result of original shire boundaries; and
- Apply the Environmental Significance Overlay to land to the west of Sluicers Road (but on the east side of Sluicers Gully) and south of Diamond Gully Road to ensure appropriate testing for landfill gas migration is undertaken prior to development.

As the site falls within 500m of the Castlemaine Landfill further investigation of some land is required prior to development. The Environmental Audit Overlay is applied to ensure gas migration testing is completed prior to development in areas of higher risk.

Accessing further information and documentation

Full amendment documentation is available from Amendments Online.

A hard copy of the amendment is available for public viewing at Mount Alexander Shire Council Offices, at the Civic Centre on the corner of Lyttleton and Lloyd Streets in Castlemaine during business hours.

The proposed Diamond Gully Local Policy also includes four reference documents. These are:
- Environmental Audit of Castlemaine Landfill buffer and appendices part 1 and part 2
- Diamond Gully Water and Hydrology and Drainage technical assessment
- Bushfire Design Principles for Diamond Gully

If you wish to speak to someone about the amendment, please contact Council on 5471 1700 to arrange a time and ensure the relevant staff member is available that day.

Current status

Council has adopted the amendment and submitted the amendment to the Minister of Planning for approval.

Certified by the Chief Executive Officer in accordance with Section 55D of the Local Government Act 1989.

Expert Witness Statements

Best Hooper on behalf of the McClure Group (submitters to the amendment) have called two expert witnesses to provide evidence.

Their witness statements are available below.

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