Commonly asked questions
Has the urban growth boundary been extended to accommodate these 100,000 new lots?
No. The current Urban Growth Boundary was finalised in 2012 and has not been extended to accommodate these new housing lots.
All of the land the VPA is unlocking has already been zoned for future development and the majority of it is not economic for intensive farming. The VPA is preparing detailed precinct plans for new communities to ensure they are great places to live.
Where will the 100,000 lots be located?
The 100,000 lots will be located in Melbourne’s seven growth area councils: Whittlesea, Wyndham, Cardinia, Casey, Hume, Melton and Mitchell.
The lots will be facilitated by the creation of more precinct structure plans, which will be approved by the end of 2018. These plans are at various stages of completion, with some at the early stages and others nearing finalisation. One of these plans, Wollert, was recently approved by Minister Wynne. For further details see our Greenfields work program.
When will the 100,000 new dwellings be actually built?
After precinct structure plans are approved by the Minister for Planning, developers are able to apply to council for subdivision approvals and various other planning permits, which often take more than 12 months to be processed.
Once these approvals are granted by council, developers are able to start building. Most suburbs are developed gradually, over a 20-year period to meet the needs of homebuyers.
For example, the Lockerbie PSP was finalised five years ago and there are only 200 people living onsite today in the Cloverton estate. These areas are built gradually and not overnight.
Why don’t you build all infrastructure and facilities before people move in?
All the basic servicing such as water, utilities and local roads are completed by developers ahead of people moving in.
The Victorian Government and local councils rely on significant levies from developers to help fund vital infrastructure for the new community, such as town centres, schools and facilities. Therefore, this infrastructure is usually developed over time.
Land is set aside for major roads, community centres, schools or a railway station and this infrastructure is built when state government funds are allocated and an appropriate amount of people have moved in.
For example, it would not be a wise investment of state money to fund a new school and pay for teachers if there are only a handful of students living there. Normally there is an existing school nearby that can take students for the first few years as the community grows until a new school is sustainable.
One of the key benefits of living in a new suburb is that houses are often substantially more affordable than established suburbs and residents will have brand new facilities to enjoy. In return, residents might have to wait a few years for their community to reach its full potential. This has always been the case as Melbourne has developed.
To ensure new suburbs are more liveable, the Office for Suburban Development will engage with all levels of government, as well as the business and community sector to identify and shape priorities that will provide new residents with the infrastructure, services and local job opportunities needed to create liveable and sustainable communities. You can learn more about this at www.suburbandevelopment.vic.gov.au.
Where do the funds from infrastructure come from?
There are a variety of sources:
Development levies paid by the developer
When people develop land for any use, they often contribute to or cause the need for new or upgraded infrastructure. Development contributions are payments or works-in-kind towards the provision of infrastructure made by the developer on the basis of a set criteria. Generally they pay for council infrastructure such as a community facility, local road or the upgrade of a park. The system is currently being simplified.
Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC)
What is known as state infrastructure – generally infrastructure that services a range of communities and may include buying land for a school or a future rail line – is in part paid for by the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC)
The Growth Area Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) began operation on 1 July 2010 and applies to growth area land brought into the Urban Growth Boundary in 2005-06 or subsequently which is zoned for urban development. It is also paid by developers based on a set of criteria.
To see an example of some recent funding of a project under GAIC see here.
Growing Suburbs Fund
The Growing Suburbs Fund is a $150 million state government investment over four years to support critical Council infrastructure for communities in Melbourne’s diverse and fast-growing outer suburbs.
It is a dedicated fund to support the infrastructure needs of interface communities which are experiencing pressure on strained facilities and services.
It will fund local infrastructure such as family and community centres, town centre and civic revitalisation projects, open space and amenity improvements.
Local, state and federal budgets
In addition to this many infrastructure items are funded through a Council capital works budget, the Victorian Government budget and on occasion the Federal Government Budget.
These sources combine together to help fund much of the new infrastructure needs created over time by the establishment of new communities.
What is the government doing to create more housing and job hubs in established suburbs?
The high level directions to support new housing and jobs can be found in Plan Melbourne and the many initiatives to make housing more affordable and accessible in the Homes for Victorians housing strategy.
As a part of implementing Plan Melbourne the VPA is conducting planning for several urban renewal projects in inner and middle Melbourne.
The VPA is planning for jobs and business growth in Melbourne’s national employment and innovation clusters to encourage jobs growth close to where people live, and also working towards transforming many disused industrial sites into new business centres with mixed uses. The VPA is planning for the transformation of the area around the new Arden metro station, a bustling new mixed-use precinct just two kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD.
Why do we need so many new dwellings in Victoria?
Victoria’s population is growing by over 100,000 people per year, a rate not seen since the gold rush era. This comes from a mix of natural population growth, people moving to Victoria from interstate and overseas migration, and is an important stimulus to the state economy. It is vital we build new dwellings to ensure supply keeps pace with a significant demand. However, it is important to note that greenfield planning is just one aspect of the VPA’s efforts to plan for new housing, jobs and infrastructure in Victoria.
We are also working on many regional projects that will unlock land for development in areas such as Wodonga, Shepparton and Bacchus Marsh
How will these new communities provide for jobs?
The VPA always design new suburbs with space set aside for jobs and employment land. We understand that providing people with local job options is the cornerstone of creating a liveable and walkable community that knits into the existing urban area.
So far the finalised Precinct Structure Plans have led to 4,560 hectares of land being zoned for employment uses. This equates to the future creation of 350,000 jobs across the town centres, business and industrial areas in the 60 approved new suburbs and industrial areas.
How will these plans help tackle housing affordability?
These plans will result in thousands of new homes being built across Melbourne, to ensure supply keeps pace with demand and there is competition between developers to attract buyers based on both price and quality.
We know that in Melbourne’s growth areas a person can buy a serviced lot for $200,000 cheaper than in comparable areas in Sydney. The release of the Victorian Government housing strategy Homes for Victorians introduced stamp duty cuts for first homebuyers and other key measures will help provide a diverse range of affordable options.
Are we eating into Melbourne’s food bowl?
No. Most areas within the Urban Growth boundary were the subject of rigorous investigation at the time of expanding the UGB to ensure that the vast majority of the highly productive areas are either incorporated into designs or set aside from development.
The work the VPA is undertaking in regional areas will also assist in stopping the ad hoc development we now see on the fringes of some regional towns.
Will these all be cookie-cutter type houses and developments?
No. The VPA collaborates closely with councils and landowners to design guidelines that encourage a wider variety of housing types. For instance, many of the completed PSPs now being built have a combination of large family homes, smaller homes, townhouses and apartments as a part of the housing mix, enabling generations of families to live close by.