During the engagement that our Community Vision was built upon liveability was nominated as a high priority. The Hepburn Shire community wanted to see strong planning controls in place to retain the character, liveability, and lifestyles that we value. Feedback indicated a strong concern for the preservation of farmland, sustainable development supported by appropriate infrastructure, and recognition of the important link between history and the area's identity.
In 2019 Council undertook and adopted a comprehensive planning scheme review and then progressed with a major planning scheme amendment, Am C80hep. A key recommendation of the Review that was further endorsed by the independent panel that considered the Amendment was that Council undertake structure planning for its key townships. Following consideration of the priorities identified by Councillors and community, and the Hepburn Planning Scheme review outcomes, a Strategic Planning Five Year Work Plan was created.
How to Participate
In early 2022 we invited the community to help to inform the Creswick Structure Plan by completing a short survey, identifying ideas that would help to improve liveability in Creswick into the future, and dropping in to discuss ideas with the team.
The next steps involve development of a draft plan, and we will take this to the community for thorough feedback later this year. See a summary of what we heard under the tab further down - Creating a vision for Creswick (concluded). You can also read the Creswick Structure Plan Engagement Report.
Please note that this survey is now closed (5pm on Friday 20 May, 2022.) Thank you to all in the community who took the time to contribute to this phase of the Structure Plan. We look forward to sharing the results with you during the Draft Structure Plan phase.
More information about the Creswick Structure Plan
A Structure Plan guides the development of a township and expresses the desired outlook for the future of a town. It plans how things like new buildings, parks and infrastructure should develop over time.
The Creswick Structure Plan will manage residential growth, provide for sufficient zoned land for employment and community infrastructure to 2042, whilst protecting and enhancing its unique historic character and biodiversity.
The objectives of the Structure Plan are to:
- To manage growth and facilitate change within the existing define township boundaries
- To review township boundaries and to identify new areas for residential growth and employment land
- To provide a coordinated program for infrastructure delivery including transport, community infrastructure and the public realm
- To identify the need for any future land use and built form development guidelines to enable streamlined and timely decision making
- To acknowledge the need for affordable housing and to identify suitable sites
Over the coming months we will be engaging the community about their vision for Creswick, sharing data, studies and other information, and will be launching a number of ways for you share your feedback.
Land Use: The Structure Plan will ensure the right mix of residential and commercial activities within Creswick. It will clarify the town’s capacity for growth in terms of height and scale of development, streetscapes and public space improvements, and the town boundaries.
Housing, including affordable housing:
It is important that the Structure Plan acknowledges that there are areas that are significant to our Traditional Owners. These are expressed as both tangible and intangible heritage and are the living history of the area. Council is working with our Traditional Owner groups in the development of the Structure Plan.
Heritage: Creswick’s extraordinary gold mining history (post contact, European history) continues to define Creswick as a unique place. Protecting those streetscapes and individual places of cultural heritage significance for future generations is critical.
Transport: Public transport networks in and around Creswick have limitations due to the low population and user demand. There are real opportunities to improve local sustainable transport through upgrading footpaths, bicycle paths and trails and local roads.
Biodiversity: Creswick is surrounded by significant flora and fauna. Creswick residents have told us how important these key waterways and forests are to them. There are opportunities to protect our biodiversity through planning mechanisms.
Bushfire risk: Large parts of Creswick are vulnerable to bushfire and floods. The Structure Plan will identify and guide how residential growth should be carefully managed in these areas.
Agriculture: The Creswick area is surrounded by valuable farming land that needs to be protected from fragmentation and land uses that negatively impact on farming operations. This will ensure the long-term sustainability of our nationally significant food bowl.
Sustainability: The Structure Plan will explore what sustainable outcomes means in a planning sense e.g. such as encouraging sustainable building practices.
Economic Growth: Creswick is a tourism hub with key business enterprises that provide employment and an economic backbone to the town. Locations for new businesses will be provided in the structure plan.
Council commenced engaging with the community about their vision for Creswick from 20 April to 20 May 2022 with a mix of both in person and online engagement methods enabling people to provide feedback or discuss with strategic planners their thoughts on planning for Creswick's future. Over the four-week period 67 people participated in the engagement activities.
A summary of the findings
A summary of the survey results is presented below. There were 37 responses to the survey. It is important to note respondents could choose as many statements as they liked and provide comments if they wished and when asked:
- What do you like or value about Creswick? The most common response was ‘the lifestyle’ which was cited by 30 respondents.
- Is there anything you think should change? The most common response was ‘better environmental and sustainability outcomes’ which was cited by 19 respondents.
- Is there anything that should not change? The respondents were asked to answer this question in their own words -
- Small town feel - This was the most common response. This included the slower pace, the beauty, and the character of the town.
- Heritage - The importance of the town’s heritage was cited by five participants, particularly the buildings and forests.
- Country town - Six respondents indicated that they did not want the country town look of Creswick to change. Of particular concern was the size of housing blocks, the prospect of ‘over development’ or suburban style housing. Maintaining the town for locals rather than tourists was also considered important.
- Community - The importance of the friendly community was also a key element that should not change. The importance of keeping it a local town was also cited.
- Other comments – These related to the natural environment and green space (2) and the challenges of sustainable change in a small town (1).
- How would you like Creswick to be in 2042? Respondents could choose up to three statements and provide comments if they wished. The options included:
a. The same/ similar to how it is now
b. More opportunities for new housing
c. More opportunities for business/ industry
d. More protection for agriculture
e. More protection for wildlife/ bushland areas
f. Well known heritage town
g. Other (please specify)
The most common response was ‘well known heritage town’ which was cited by 21 respondents.