Get involved in shaping future growth in Greater Bendigo

Media release

The City of Greater Bendigo is seeking community feedback on two key strategies designed to manage long term housing growth.

By 2056, Greater Bendigo's population is expected to grow by 87,000 people, requiring 38,000 new dwellings.

To address future growth, the City has drafted the Managed Growth Strategy, which outlines a framework for sustainable housing development. 

This strategy proposes that 70% of new urban development should occur in established areas, while the remaining 30% would be in growth areas such as Strathfieldsaye, Maiden Gully, Huntly, and Marong, pending further investigation. Currently, more than half of Bendigo's residential growth is concentrated in these growth areas.

This shift in policy aims to mitigate environmental impacts, preserve important productive agricultural land, and reduce the economic costs associated with infrastructure development in greenfield areas. Additionally, it seeks to enable more residents to live near existing services, transportation, and commercial centres, and to provide diverse housing options that meet community needs and demographic trends.

The City is also seeking feedback on the draft Housing and Neighbourhood Character Strategy. This strategy ensures that new developments, including units, townhouses, and multi-storey buildings, are well designed and consider the character of each precinct. It outlines areas designated for minimal, incremental, or substantial change in residential development.

Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said these strategies were important for maintaining Greater Bendigo’s appeal as an attractive, liveable, and accessible place. 

“The region's growth is driven by a combination of longer residency, community births, and new residents moving from other areas particularly in central Victoria. The increase in smaller households and rising housing costs also highlight the need for affordable housing in the future from developers, “Cr Metcalf said.

“Your feedback is crucial in planning for the future of Greater Bendigo, and I encourage the community to get involved as growth in our region affects all of us.”

Public engagement is now open on the City’s platform, Let’s Talk, until Friday, July 12. Residents are encouraged to participate in the consultation by completing an online survey or sending in a submission to:

[email protected]

Residents can also book a time via Let’s Talk to meet with a Strategic Planner at one of 15 in-person information sessions scheduled across urban Bendigo, Huntly, Strathfieldsaye, Maiden Gully, and Heathcote. 

“These informative sessions with City Strategic Planners provide an opportunity to understand how the proposed strategies may impact where you live, particularly regarding new precinct characters and recommended development levels.”

If adopted, it is important to know the strategies are proposed to be implemented via a separate planning scheme amendment that will lead to changes in the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme. This would include introducing new residential zones and streamlined planning controls to ensure growth is directed to well-serviced locations.

If your property is impacted by the draft Housing and Neighbourhood Character Strategy you can enter your address to see how the proposed changes might affect your area. 

Public feedback will inform the final versions of both strategies, which will be presented to the Council for consideration later in 2024.

Greater Bendigo