News & Insights
Council Dithering on Industrial Land Shortages
October 20, 2020
Frankston City Council recently released its Industrial Land Strategy Review: Frankston City Industrial Precincts, which was carried out by property consultancy firm, Charter Keck Cramer.
One of the main purposes of this report was to assess industrial land supply across the region, and make appropriate policy recommendations to ensure the municipality remains a viable and attractive place for commercial and industrial businesses to grow and thrive well into the future.
Two of the report’s key findings were:
- “Council’s industrial areas are nearing full build out”, and
- “There is now less than 20ha of land available to support future industrial expansion which equates to less than 2 years land supply to support the growth and expansion of business.”
Nichols Crowder has been acutely aware of these issues for many years, and has communicated our concerns with Council several times. We believe that to maintain the region’s economic advantage over competing industrial precincts in Melbourne, and to ensure employment opportunities remain local, it is imperative that Council solves the dilemma of industrial land shortages as soon as possible.
However, the report only touched on ways to address these critical issues: Its two recommendations in this regard were:
- “Review the land use zoning of the Frankston East industrial precinct”, and
- “Develop a strategic vision and program of actions to facilitate the renewal of aged industrial stock and ageing precincts”.
Nichols Crowder considers these recommendations to be manifestly inadequate as a way to solve the increasingly urgent lack of industrial land in our region. These will also only tinker at the edges of what the area needs, and are expected to result in steady declines in employment opportunities across Frankston, Carrum Downs, Seaford and other key commercial suburbs over the short- and long-term.
A possible solution to the industrial land shortages within the Council’s jurisdiction would be to investigate the rezoning of some land to the north of Boundary Road to Thompson Road in Carrum Downs. This is currently zoned as Green Wedge Land, and makes zoning changes controversial. However, only a tiny proportion of the Green Wedge Land would need to be rezoned to ensure adequate industrial land for decades to come.
Unfortunately, the report did not even consider a rezoning of this land, despite the obvious and many benefits. In fact, the report recommended the rezoning of some current industrial land in Frankston and Seaford to other uses, further compounding the region’s industrial land shortages.
As such, we urge those with commercial and industrial property in the Frankston City Council area, and those with businesses and other interests, to contact Council with their concerns regarding industrial land shortages, and their support for more to be done on this issue.