Marong plan in question

The Marong Plan sets out the City of Greater Bendigo’s vision for the future of the township, including an estimated population of up to 8000 people.A former town planner has questioned the credibility of the Bendigo council’sMarong Township Structure Plan, claiming it contains“major deficiencies”.
Nanjing Night Net

Leichardt planning barrister Adele Patterson,who has a decade ofexperienceadvisingmetropolitan and regional councils on growth area planning, said the council’s estimate of 8000 people living in Marong by 2036 was overly ambitious.

“If you do a calculation of available vacant land, in a tight fit there’s scarcely enough for between 800 and 1000,” she said.

“The council’s own planning consultant, when questioned about the Marong plan at the recent Marong industrial park hearing, agreed with that.”

City of Greater Bendigo strategy manager Trevor Budge has previously said the council expectedthe population of Marong to grow to about 8000 within the next 20 years, but this week saidthatprojection was “probably optimistic” under the current pattern of development.

He said it was alegitimate question to ask whether 8000 people could fit in that area.

“We may have to modify our predictions or we might have to look at arethere any other areas that feasibly could be included within the township area and is there any prospect that perhaps other forms of development could accommodatemore peoplethan perhaps the current patternhas set out,’’ Mr Budge said.

“It’s councilpolicy at the moment to aim for a population of 8000in Marong,whetherthatturns out to be feasible is part of the study that we’re doing.”

But Ms Patterson said there were“serious restrictions” on the growth potential ofMarong’s outskirts.

“In particular there’s a forest to the north, flood-prone land to the east, the proposed Bendigo ring road to the south and the west, the chicken farm to the west and of course the council’s failed industrial park proposal to the west as well,” she said.

But Mr Budge suggestedsome of the surrounding land could potentially be repurposed.

“There are anumber of landholders and land users in Marong that will probably re-examine what they’re needs are when they start to consider the development of the town overthe next 20 years,” he said.

Mr Budge said somelandowners in Marong were already exploring new types of development.

“Aplanning permithas actually been lodged by the Marong Hotel to build about sixor eightshops next to the hotel and to put apartments above those shops,” he said.

“We’ve actually got people inMarong who are now realisingthe potentialofthe town and are thinking about different forms of development.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Comments are closed.