A vision for the growth and planning of Broadford over the next 20 years is a step closer with the draft Broadford Structure Plan out for public consultation.
Broadford is the last major township in Mitchell Shire without a completed structure plan and is identified as a peri-urban town that can accommodate a level of housing and population growth.
The plan ‘envisions Broadford to sensitively grow towards 15,000 people in the next two decades’ and features new residential areas in the Jefferys Lane precinct to the south-west and new industrial employment opportunities on the eastern side of the Hume Freeway.
High Street is still slated to be the town’s retail centre, with no other retail sites designated in the plan outside of a local convenience retail area in the Jefferys Lane precinct.
The plan identifies potential upgrades to three key intersections and two bridges across the Melbourne-Seymour railway line.
The plan sets out eight key objectives, including the identification of areas for residential growth, designation of employment land, and enhancement of the town centre.
The Broadford Structure Plan is the first to be prepared in-house by council officers rather than being outsourced.
To help assist in preparing the structure plan, a community liaison group was appointed to help provide necessary community input into the preparation of the documents.
Council will look to adopt the plan following consideration of submissions next year before it forms the basis of a planning scheme amendment.
With consultation limited by the COVID-19 pandemic not allowing traditional drop-in sessions, virtual drop-in sessions will be arranged, and video meetings will be available upon request throughout the exhibition period.
Councillors unanimously agreed to put the draft plan out for consultation at the August 17 council meeting.
Cr Bob Humm said it was now time for the public to have their input on the plan.
“I think that the government will look at this document in time after we get it back from the community and I think the government will kick off its support for this, hopefully very quickly, so it can protect the township of Broadford so it grows properly into the future instead of being rampaged,” he said.
Cr Rob Eldridge said without structure plans, the whole shire would be a lot worse off.
“I was involved with the Wallan Structure Plan and that’s a great document, but I can see as we’ve gone forward with these documents, the quality has improved out of sight,” he said.
“It gives council officers such a great tool to actually control the development so it’s the best outcome for the community.”
To assist the community in understanding the plan and providing input, council announced three online information sessions, on Tuesday September 1 at 4pm; Thursday September 17 at 6pm; and Thursday September 24 at 1.30pm. Registrations are essential and can be made at the Engaging Mitchell website.
Residents can also call 5734 6200 for more information, to arrange for access to hard copies of the plans for assistance.
Submissions can be made at www.engagingmitchellshire.com.au and close at 5pm on October 1.