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Urban Growth Strategy

Council is preparing an Urban Growth Strategy (UGS) to guide development of the shire's urban areas over the next 15 years. The development of the strategy is expected to take about six months and will involve two stages of community engagement. Read more about study below and how you can get involved.


Council’s current strategy - Cluster, Connect and Consolidation - was developed from the Urban Living Study in 2004. The main components of this strategy were:
• Urban consolidation and expansion in Castlemaine (including Campbells Creek);
• Urban containment and limited expansion at Maldon;
• Infill development at Newstead;
• Planned growth of Harcourt, Taradale and Elphinstone;
• Improving transport connections between Castlemaine and other towns;
• Limited growth of other towns.

The Urban Living Study predicted significant population growth for the shire, and household growth. Actual population growth has been below the level predicted by the Urban Living Strategy. However the growth in the number of dwellings in the Shire is similar to projections in the Urban Living Strategy, but is different at township level.

Download a copy of the 2004 Mount Alexander Urban Living Study.

Why is the Urban Growth Strategy being undertaken?

It is now twelve years since the Urban Living Study (2004) was completed by Council. Since this time there have been a number of changes to State Government planning policies, a significant body of strategic work done by Council, and three new Council Plan's. Some of the policy chances, and further work that has been done includes:
• Greater emphasis on the protection of human life from bushfire;
• Municipal Fire Management Plan;
• Residential land supply and demand analysis
• Development of the Regional Growth Strategy, identifying Harcourt and Castlemaine for growth in a regional context;
• Limitations on development in unsewered areas in Special Water Supply Catchments;
• Preparation of the Taradale Residential Options Paper;
• Preparation of the housing Needs and Opportunities in Mount Alexander Shire paper;
• Release of the Victoria in the Future 2015 population projections.
• Preparation and implementation of the Diamond Gully Structure Plan.

The Urban Growth Strategy will consider these issues, and make recommendations on population growth for our various townships, and investment (in terms of infrastructure) in those townships.

What is the scope of the Urban Growth Strategy?

The Urban Growth Strategy will specifically consider residential development in urban areas. It will not consider rural (including rural living), industrial, and commercial land or development, other than to the extent they affect residential development.

New Town Framework Plans will be developed where appropriate as part of the Urban Growth Strategy. Like the current Framework Plans in the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme, these will identify the township (or urban growth) boundaries for each town, and requiring rezoning to allow for residential development, constraints to residential development, key features, and further work that may need doing before development occurs.

As part of the Urban Growth Strategy, the township boundaries for each town will be reviewed to ensure they are in the most appropriate locations.

Where will the Urban Growth Strategy apply?

The Urban Growth Strategy will consider growth in the townships of Campbells Creek, Castlemaine, Chewton, Elphinstone, Guildford, Harcourt, Maldon, Newstead and Taradale.

It will not consider smaller townships and settlements such as Metcalfe, Baringhup, Fryerstown, Yapeen or Vaughan as growth in these communities is expected to be incremental, and minimal in the context of the population growth of the shire.

How can I provide input?

Council has run a number of workshops and received written submissions to the strategy. The draft strategy is currently being prepared, and public feedback will be sought on this when it is completed.

A summary of information from the workshops and submissions is available below.

Draft Urban Growth Strategy

A substantial amount of information was received at the community workshops and in written submissions. It is anticipated that a draft strategy will be available in 2017. Public comment will be sought on the draft strategy at that time.

Following this any necessary changes will be made to the strategy before a final document is prepared for Council adoption.

Background paper

A background paper has been prepared to help provide the context for the Urban Growth Strategy. This paper will form an addendum to the final report, rather than including all information in the report.

More Information

You can stay informed of the progress of the Urban Growth Strategy by registering for updates. If you made a submissions, or registered to attend a workshop, you will automatically be registered.

If you would like to be kept up to date with the Urban Growth Strategy, please register here and we will add you to the mailing list.

This page will be updated as the strategy progresses. Contact us if you'd like to speak with a member of our Strategic Planning Team about the Urban Growth Strategy.

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