Residents air planning concerns

By Steph McNicol – 

COMMUNITY infrastructure, property sizes and transport were the top three concerns of Riddells Creek residents in regards to a proposed new development.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council undertook extensive community consultation in the later months of 2019 in regards to the Amess Road Precinct Structure Plan.

Council received 238 submissions regarding the Precinct Structure Plan, with residents concerned about a lack of community infrastructure, particularly about the V/Line train service and car parking at the station, the need for more educational facilities and access to retail and community sporting facilities.

The issues of character versus lot size was 156 times in submission to council, with people not supportive of the 476 square metre lots proposed in the draft urban framework plan because it would lead to a poor character outcome for Riddells Creek.

Submitters also raised concerns about traffic movement for all modes of transport. Council acknowledged that existing roads such Amess Road and the intersection with Amess Road and Gisborne-Kilmore Road were likely to require upgrading.

Council and Sector Advantage drafted an urban framework plan and several technical reports to inform the Precinct Structure Plan.

A Precinct Structure Plan is a ‘blueprint’ for development and infrastructure investment which will last for many years and lays out the important features for communities who will be using the facilities.

Residents who attended the consultation sessions in 2019 were asked to express what was most important to them regarding each theme – urban design; parks, open space, waterways and the environment; community facilities; and connectivity.

There was an opportunity for people to ask questions to council and residents then had the chance to submit their feedback which formed the draft of the plan.

Of the 203 residents in attendance of the session, 220 comments were gathered by council – 71 referring to community facilities, infrastructure and services; 63 referred to urban design; 33 referred to connectivity; 23 referred to parks, open space, waterways and environment; and 31 were general comments.

Sector Advantage will now continue to prepare documents and council will be assessing developments in planning to ensure it aligns with the needs of the community.

“Preparation of a PSP includes preparing a traffic and transport technical report which considers walking, cycling, motor vehicles and public transport,” senior strategic planner Evan Krausgrill said.

“Open space, recreational and community infrastructure, including schools and service requirements will be determined by the community needs assessment technical report which reviews population and demographic projections.”