Mitchell Shire Council is one of the fastest growing areas outside of metropolitan Melbourne, putting development pressures on communities in the shire. To manage this pressure, Council developed structure plans to determine the future role of the townships of Wandong and Heathcote Junction, Kilmore and Wallan. Structure plans ensure that the look and feel of the townships are enhanced, and the communities are well planned for and supported.
Capire designed a comprehensive three-stage engagement program to inform the development of each structure plan. The Wallan Structure Plan included the establishment of a Community Liaison Group to advise the project team and act as ‘community champions’. In March 2015, the Wallan Structure Plan was unanimously endorsed at Council, paving the way to a future that will see a very different Wallan.
The development of the structure plans for Kilmore, Wandong and Heathcote Junction involved an internal workshop to reflect on past learnings and to develop an integrated strategy across the two structure plans. Central to Capire’s role was supporting Council to create stronger connections with their community utilising existing engagement techniques. Capire worked alongside the project team preparing the Kilmore Town Centre Plan and a detailed capital works program aiming to make Sydney Street a more attractive and inviting place. Council unanimously endorsed the Kilmore Structure Plan, and the Wandong and Heathcote Junction Structure Plan following a 12-month Planning Scheme Amendment process, known as Amendment C123. This process included a review by the Independent Planning Panel. The Amendment C123 is currently under consideration by the Minister for Planning for implementation into the Mitchell Planning Scheme.