Council adopts Small Town Strategy

A Small Towns Strategy that will guide future structural planning and development in rural/residential townships across the Southern Grampians Shire was adopted at the February Council Meeting on Wednesday night.

The Small Towns Strategy provides a solid framework for Council when overseeing the development of infrastructure and housing in the shire’s outer townships, particularly those with forecasted residential growth.

The first steps of Small Towns Strategy implementation will be to update the Southern Grampians Planning Scheme and develop new structure plans for Cavendish, Coleraine, and Penshurst. There will also be a review of strategic planning work already completed for Dunkeld.

Mayor Councillor David Roberston said the Small Towns Strategy was a major piece of work that was several years in the making by Council, in partnership with local communities.

He said the development of a Small Towns Strategy was recognised as a key priority in the Council Plan 2021- 2025, with the process initiated in September 2021. The draft was collated following several rounds of community engagement sessions and one-on-one sessions with progress associations.

“This major strategy provides clear direction for land development in our Shire according to the unique needs and expectations of our rural communities,” said Cr Robertson. “It’s a very important document to ensure Council is consistent with its approach to rural planning and outlines key priorities for action. I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to this critical, land-mark document.”

Council met with town progress associations before Christmas to present the draft Small Towns Strategy and the broader community also had an opportunity to comment on the draft before it was finalised for council consideration and adoption. Council also received 24 submissions on the draft strategy.

“All community meetings were well attended, and a lot of valuable feedback was provided to council, which was considered for the final document,” Cr Robertson concluded.

The final strategy is available from council’s website or our customer service centre.

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