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Planning for population growth in Bass Coast

Planning for population growth in Bass Coast

Wednesday 17 August 2022

Bass Coast Shire Council is developing a Neighbourhood Character Study, a Housing Strategy, and a Residential Development Framework to help manage future population growth.

Bass Coast is one of Victoria’s fastest growing regional municipalities, with the area forecast to have a population of close to 48,140 by 2036.

This population growth will result in demand for almost 10,000 additional dwellings.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan said that this predicted population growth presents a challenge for Council.

“Not only will we need to adequately plan for it, but we will also need to ensure that appropriate planning policies and controls are in place, to protect the valued attributes within our townships, where a new development is proposed,” Cr Whelan said.

“The Neighbourhood Character Study, Housing Strategy and Residential Development Framework will build on and complement the State Government’s draft Statement of Planning Policy, developed as part of the Distinctive Areas and Landscapes Program, to ensure that Council is well equipped to sustainably manage the forecasted population growth.”

The Neighbourhood Character Study involves a detailed assessment of neighbourhood character in Bass Coasts residential areas and the preparation of design guidelines that will inform the character of new residential developments.

The Housing Strategy will be a long-term plan to manage housing growth and change across all residential areas in Bass Coast. It will identify what our housing needs are, where housing growth and changes to residential density can occur based on a set of clearly defined principles and will help define the degree of change within our settlements.

The Residential Development Framework will balance the outputs of the Housing Strategy and Neighbourhood Character Study to identify minimal, incremental, and substantial change areas for all residential settlements. This will inform the application of zones and overlays that are needed to ensure new development respects the identified preferred neighbourhood character of residential areas.

Council is seeking community input into the preparation of these draft studies and is starting a community consultation period focused on:

  • Explaining the roles of the Neighbourhood Character Study and the Housing Strategy and the steps involved in developing them
  • Collecting feedback that can be used to inform the development of the draft Housing Strategy
  • Collecting feedback on what residents think makes their local neighbourhood unique

For more information about the project and to provide your feedback, visit

You can also learn more about the projects in person, by attending a drop-in session with Council’s Strategic Planning Team at:

  • Inverloch Community Hub – Friday, 26 August from 11.00am to 1.00pm
  • St Philip’s Anglican Church (meeting room), Cowes – Saturday, 27 August from 9.30am to 11.30am
  • San Remo Recreation Reserve (blue room) – Saturday, 27 August from 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Community members can also contact Council’s Strategic Planning team to discuss the project on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211 or email

The first stage of consultation closes on Friday, 16 September 2022.