Wednesday, May 15, 2013

townships get more definition

report from the roundtable - 14 may

I was pleased to be able to move a motion to adopt the Yarra Ranges Activity Centre Network Strategy. The strategy provides the finer detail of the role of our townships and outlines a hierarchy of activity centres based on:
~Two major activities areas: Lilydale and Chirnside Park

~ Nine large Neighbourhood/Town Centres: Belgrave, Healesville, Kilsyth, Monbulk, Mooroolbark, Mt Evelyn, Seville (included due to the addition of a full line supermarket, approved by council Feb 2011), Yarra Glen & Yarra Junction

~Ten small Neighbourhood/Town Centres: Coldstream, Montrose, Mt Dandenong, Olinda, Sassafras, Tecoma, Upwey, Wandin North, Warburton & Woori Yallock

~ A network of Local Centres including (but not limited to) Colby Drive, Belgrave South & Switchback Rd, Chirnside Park

The purpose of the strategy is to provide a more integrated and strategic approach to land use planning and development, it outlines the towns where major development should be considered and those towns where it’s not appropriate. It also provides greater clarity on those small centres/villages that provide for local convenience but also have a high tourism value as well.

It will provide much greater clarity in terms of where development should be guided to meet need and/or demand. It will also provide a clear policy basis for assessing development applications and whether the fit is right for the town.

As part of implementing the strategy a Planning Scheme amendment will be prepared to update our planning policy to reflect the activity centre hierarchy and strengthen planning policy to retain industrial land for industrial related and employment generating purposes.

Important to note is the emphasis and addition of “well designed pedestrian friendly places where people enjoy shopping, doing business and participating in community activities”. This is one of the key strategies that is planned to be embedded in our Municipal Strategic Statement under the clause relating to the Activity centres network and will give far greater strength to applications that encourage pedestrian friendliness.

I am very pleased to see this body of work progress as it provides far greater clarity to our planning scheme and what’s appropriate in what town.

Councillors supported the motion unanimously.

Note: Cr McCarthy absent and Cr Child left the chamber due to a conflict of interest (nb: interesting to note that this same conflict saw Cr Child remain in the chamber when considering the application for a supermarket in Warburton).

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