Gisborne growth pressure

CEO Margot Stork, director of planning and environment Sophie Segafredo, Cr Mandi Mees, Cr Helen Radnedge and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas discuss planning opportunities for Gisborne.

CEO Margot Stork, director of planning and environment Sophie Segafredo, Cr Mandi Mees, Cr Helen Radnedge and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas discuss planning opportunities for Gisborne.

Gisborne's population boom has placed urgency on the need for proper future planning for the town forecast to double in population by 2036.

The Victorian Government last week announced a $220,000 Streamlining for Growth grant for development of the Gisborne and New Gisborne structure plan and a Gisborne Town Centre Design Framework.

Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas said it was timely for this work to take shape.

"I think we would all agree that one of the challenges that we face in Gisborne is that things have been built but they haven't been assessed on their own and not necessarily how they sit as a whole, and for a township the size of Gisborne, it's really timely and important that we do that," she said.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council now begins the vital works to outline long-term settlement boundaries, guide future development, form and layout of the central business district, and identify parking improvements and pedestrian access points.

"(The current Gisborne Town Centre Urban Design Framework) is an ancient piece of work and doesn't really address the modern needs of the community and particularly the growing community," said Sophie Segafredo, director of planning and environment.

"We are keen to look at the town centre and make sure that there's adequate infrastructure as well as commercial opportunities for development so that we can meet the needs of the people."

She said the Gisborne structure plan was adopted in 2008 and, according to the growth rates experienced for the past few years, it is due for renewal.

"We're very excited to move into that next stage," Ms Segafredo said.

"All of these things are coming into alignment over the next 12 to 18 months and we'll end up with a really comprehensive review of the provisions that apply for Gisborne."

These projects complement other strategic planning work now underway, including the Gisborne Neighbourhood Character Study, Gisborne Movement Network Study and Gisborne Business Park Master Plan.

Mayor, Cr Jennifer Anderson said Gisborne had experienced significant growth in recent years, and continued to grow.

"This is important work that we need to get right now so that we have the appropriate planning controls in place to make Gisborne attractive, connected and liveable for both current and future residents and businesses.

"Our planning will also include a long-term vision for continued economic growth and local job creation," Cr Anderson said.

The funding is part of the Victorian Government's Streamlining for Growth grant program that is delivered by the Victorian Planning Authority.

This planning work will include discussions with the community and stakeholders to help inform draft versions of the town structure plan and urban design framework.

It is anticipated both documents will be released for community consultation in mid-2018.

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