Unlocking Housing - Simpson
September 2023 Community Update
Community consultation occurred in May & June 2023. A project update has now been issued to provide feedback following the consultation and to bring the community up to date on recent progress.
Project Update(PDF, 734KB)
Traffic Advice(PDF, 748KB)
About the Project
Progress continues on the Unlocking Housing Simpson project to facilitate the delivery of new homes for residents and workers on part of the land at 86 Princetown Road Simpson.
Since mid-2021 necessary Town planning studies and investigations to re-zone the land for residential development have been prioritized. This resulted in the land being rezoned from Farming zone to Neighbourhood Residential zone, to enable its subdivision for residential purposes.
Council is moving to the next stages of the project – the delivery of subdivision plans and options for infrastructure works so that land is ready for housing development.
Making land available for residential development has always been the aim of the Simpson Unlocking Housing project.
Council continues to prioritise the delivery of land for new homes, including for key workers, in Corangamite Shire.
The Positioning Simpson Strategy developed in 2020 with extensive community input are being delivered in Simpson through the development of:
- 86 Princetown Road, Simpson where Council is working with the landowner to provide services and enabling infrastructure to unlock the land for housing and investigate the delivery of key worker housing.
Council has established an expert team embedded within the Council and drawing on the private sector to prioritise delivery.
Council is also working with the Victorian State Government to unlock land for housing on the site.
Victorian State Government support through Regional Development Victoria totals $1m through the Living Regions Living Suburbs program.
Concept masterplan have been prepared for the land. Council’s urban designer, Architectus, has worked with community reference groups, Regional Development Victoria, the Office of the Victorian Government Architect and council staff to create the concepts.
The concept masterplan provides an indication of how the land could develop.
View the Simpson concept masterplan(PDF, 7MB)
The following site diagrams have been taken from the concept masterplan linked above.
A dedicated project delivery group has been established within the Council to drive delivery.
Community reference group meetings will continue as the projects advance, and extensive community consultation will occur.
Council has engaged an expert civil engineering team to take the concept masterplan forward. The expert civil engineering team will work closely with Council staff to ensure the timely design of infrastructure and to enhance the sustainability of the future subdivisions.
Unlocking Housing –Simpson is born from the Positioning Timboon and Simpson Strategy 2020 and the Key and Essential Worker Action Plan 2020. It seeks to resolve the growing problem of lack of key worker and affordable housing in the Corangamite Shire supporting key local industries and the visitor economy.
The overall plan has two parts:
- Rezoning, subdivision and construction of enabling infrastructure on privately- owned land in Simpson; and
- connecting town centre infrastructure.
We have developed a plan to position Simpson to increase appropriately zoned and serviced land to enable the town to act as a future key service centre to the Great Ocean Road for housing, tourism, accommodation, commercial and industrial opportunities.
Our Shire is experiencing a chronic housing shortage with accommodation urgently needed for the existing workforce.
Population and economic growth have been held back by the lack of suitable available land to further expand residential areas within proximity to the tourism destinations and agricultural producers in the southern and coastal areas of the Shire.
Residential growth is hampered by an increasingly inappropriate housing mix, the marginal viability of residential land development (development costs are close to the final sale prices), and a relative lack of affordable and environmentally sustainable housing.
Private investors alone are unlikely to make enough profit to make development viable without a subsidy to offset infrastructure costs. The delivery of water and sewer infrastructure, footpaths, street lighting, drainage, intersection works, electrical and telecommunication service will be required to secure the developments.
We know tourism and the visitor economy have been impacted with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent reduction in overall overseas and interstate visitors to the Great Ocean Road Region. It is still important to plan for projected increases in visitation to the region as a long-term strategic context to planning for the future of Simpson and Timboon.
We have established strategic direction in our ‘Council Plan 2021-2025’ to support new housing opportunities and population growth, promoting Corangamite Shire as a lifestyle residential destination.
A projected short-term increase in the local tourist market also presents opportunity.
The forecast growth in tourism will require new development and building of infrastructure to service tourism operations. This project identifies Simpson’s capacity to act as a key service centre for the growing tourism and agricultural sectors, including housing for workers in tourism facilities along the Great Ocean Road.
‘Unlocking Housing – Simpson’ addresses post COVID-19 population growth and associated demand for housing in regional locations, as people from metropolitan areas of Melbourne and Geelong seek to relocate to towns within Corangamite Shire.
The combined effect of these housing dynamics is that there is a significant shortage in housing for key workers and potential residents to rent or purchase right across the region. The shortage of supply has compounded inflation in the local property market.
Affordable land supply is a key element of Corangamite’s strong economic competitiveness and must be maintained.
The key issues are:
- The region has experienced minimal growth in housing stock;
- Many short-term rentals, particularly in tourism destinations, are unoccupied and underutilised;
- There is a strong correlation between high house prices and holiday homes;
- Rent increases because of lack of supply;
- Workers having to travel large distances for employment;
- The cost of developing land and buildings in some locations does not allow for commercial returns based on land value.