Strategy 2020 Draft Whittlesea Township -

Strategy 2020 Draft Whittlesea Township -

                                                           A place for all


                                                                                    A place for all

Draft Whittlesea Township
Strategy 2020
Strategy 2020 Draft Whittlesea Township -
Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners
The City of Whittlesea recognises the rich Aboriginal heritage of this country and acknowledges the
                  Wurundjeri Willum Clan as the Traditional Owners of this place.
Strategy 2020 Draft Whittlesea Township -

Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners    2

Overview                                 4

Vision and Strategic Framework Plan      6

Policy Context                           8

About Whittlesea                        12

Whittlesea Township Fast Facts          15

Engagement                              16

Whittlesea Township Strategy 2020       20

Implementation and evaluation           42

References                              47

Appendices                              48

Strategy 2020 Draft Whittlesea Township -

    The Whittlesea Township Strategy 2020 (the Strategy)      The Strategy is a ‘place-based’ strategy that sets out   The Strategy examines how the potential growth in
    is a strategic document that establishes a long term      our key priorities, actions and an advocacy strategy     population might be accommodated in a way that
    vision for the Whittlesea Township. It seeks to           that will help make it a comprehensive strategy          continues to protect the rural character, which is
    protect the significant attributes of the township        that provides solutions to meet the specific needs of    highly valued by the local community.
    that contribute to its distinctive semi-rural character   the community. It has evolved from consultation and
    whilst building upon its opportunities. The Strategy      dialogue with the local community, and clearly           The Strategy focusses on those issues that matter
    will be used to guide and manage future planning          articulates the community’s aspirations for the          most to the local community and that impact sense
    and decision making over the next 15-20 years.            Whittlesea Township as well as identifying areas for     of place, sense of community, character, amenity,
    Whilst the Strategy provides a long-term vision           change and/or improvement.                               role and function of the Township.
    for the Whittlesea Township, it is anticipated that
    the Action Plan will be reviewed every 5-10 years         Managing growth is a key issue for the Whittlesea        The Strategy presents a vision for the future of
    to ensure that the actions continue to respond            Township community. Located on the urban fringe of       the Township, and details how this vision might be
    to identified issues and changing needs of the            Melbourne, the Whittlesea Township has a unique          achieved. The Action Plan details the key priorities
    community.                                                rural character and sense of place.                      and anticipated timing of implementation to ensure
                                                                                                                       that the vision of the Strategy is realised.

4   Whittlesea Township Strategy
Strategy 2020 Draft Whittlesea Township -
Key Findings                                           • Increased opportunities for, and improvements to,
                                                         transport infrastructure to support sustainable
The following section highlights the key findings        and active travel options will be investigated to
of the Strategy which has been informed by and           ensure the community remains connected to jobs,
responds to community feedback about Whittlesea          services and networking opportunities.
                                                       • Review of planning controls is needed to ensure
• Retention of the rural character of the Whittlesea     that development in the Township provides a
  Township is highly valued by the community.            range of housing options to meet the current and
                                                         future needs of the community, whilst ensuring
• Significant topographical and landscape features       that it enhances and respects the existing and
  including the Whittlesea Hills and Plenty Valley       preferred character of the area.
  floodplain together with environmental risks
  including bushfire and flooding have assisted in     • As a major service centre for the surrounding
  defining the current Township boundary and will        rural area, initiatives which support growing
  continue to constrain the future expansion of the      existing businesses and creating local jobs and
  Township.                                              services are a priority to ensure that Whittlesea
                                                         Township remains vibrant and continues to
• No further expansion of the Whittlesea Township        support local employment.
  residential areas is proposed. Need to establish a
  clear Township boundary to maintain the              • Opportunities exist for public realm improvements
  character of the Township and provide for the          to build on the sense of place, particularly within
  long term protection of identified environmental/      the town centre.
  landscape values and agricultural land within the
  Whittlesea Green Wedge.

• Ongoing review of community service provision
  to meet the current and changing needs of the
  community is required. Whittlesea Township is
  generally well serviced in respect to provision of
  community services and associated infrastructure,
  however some gaps have been identified as well
  as the need to better utilise existing community

Strategy 2020 Draft Whittlesea Township -
Vision and Strategic Framework Plan
    The Vision has been developed having regard to the
    community’s aspirations for the Township as they
    apply to each of the six key focus areas developed as
    part of the Strategy.

    Looking forward, Whittlesea Township will:

    • retain its unique rural country feel, continue to
      serve the day to day needs of the local community
      with a strong community focus for the
      surrounding rural areas.

    • have a thriving, inclusive, connected and safe
      community, with well utilised services and
      facilities, including opportunities for recreation,
      to meet the current and changing needs of the

    • be a contained town where residential growth is
      appropriately managed, and which has a diversity
      of housing options to meet the needs of different
      household types and which respects the character
      of the local area.

    • be a well connected and accessible community
      with sustainable and active travel options.

    • have a strong and vibrant local economy and local
      employment opportunities.

    • continue to have a strong connection to the
      surrounding natural environment.

6   Whittlesea Township Strategy
Strategy 2020 Draft Whittlesea Township -

                                                                                                              AT RD


                                                                                                                                                                                                                               AA Y
                                                                                    IE RD         BLACK FL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    HI IT
                                                                      GL                                     RD
                                                                              RNIE               BBLACK FLAT
                                                                                                           AT RD
                                                                                IE RD
                                                                                   RD              LACK FL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    RIDGE RD
                                                                                                                                                           BEECH ST

                                                                                                                                                      CHURCH ST
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   RIDGE RD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   RIDGE RD
                                                                                                                                                             H ST

                                                                                                                                                        LAUREL ST                                                                                                LEGEND

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Township extent/potential UGB


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Low density residential
                                Bruces                                                                                                               LA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Township Residential
                                                                                                                                                          EL ST
                                Creek                           Plenty
                                                                                                                                                                                                               H                         HU
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E RD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RD        Township
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Township   boundary/potential
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Town Centre/Township
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Urban Growth Boundary (UGB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Low  Densityresidential
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Community      Residential

                                                                                                                          D ENTY RD
                                                                River                                                                                                                                                                                           Township
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Open space Residential
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Town  Centre/Township
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Centre/Township Diversity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Showgrounds               Diversity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Community     use

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Community    use

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Open  space

                                                                                                                                                                                                   YE                                                           Showgrounds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Green wedge land

                    WALLAN RD

                                                                                                                                                                                           ES                                                                   Infrastructure

                                                                                                                                                                                         L                                                                       Infrastructure
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Schools, community uses
                                                                                                                                                                                   HI                                                                           Industrial
                                                                                                                                                                                  W                                                                              Industrial
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 1-in-100-year floodplain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Green  wedge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Waterways        land
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Scrubby                                                       Schools,  community
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Schools,         line uses
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 215m contour           uses
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Creek                                                        1-in-100-year
                                                                                             GRANTS RD                                                                                                                                                           225m contourfloodplain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1-in-100-year    floodplain
                                                                                                                                                                             4                                                                                  Waterways
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 240m contour line
                                                                                4                                                                                                                                                                               215m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 215m   contour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Masterplan      line
                                                 T RD                                            NTS RD                                                                                                                                                         225m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 225m contour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        contour line
    GLENBUR                                 K FLA                                              RANTS RD
                                                                                             G                                                                                                                                                                                    line
               NIE RD                  BLAC                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 N
                                                                                                                                      CADES RD                                                                                                             1100m240m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 240m contour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Town             line
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        contour   line
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Masterplan    opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Masterplan   opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Enhance public    realm
                                                                                                                         u            CA
                                                                                                                                      CADE                                                                                                                 100m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               - Strengthen 500m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              link betweenN Laurel and Church Street
                                                                                                                                         DESS RD
                                                                                                                                              RD                                                                                                           100m               500m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               - Encourage shop-top office
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               - Develop and implement built-form controls
                                                                                    u                                                                                  RIDGE RD                                                                                  to protect local character  in Church Street precinct
                                                                1             BEECH ST
                                                                                                          6                                                                                           3                                                    2   Township residential

                                                                                    2                                                                                                                                                                          - Implement Council’s Housing Diversity Strategy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 to encourage a range of housing forms and ensure new
                                H                                             LAUREL
                                                                                                                                                  2                                                                                                              housing enhances local character

                                                                                                  H                                                               4                                                                                        3   Low Density Residential
   5               4                                                  u                                                                                                                                                                                        - Maintain 0.4 hectare minimum lot size

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           4   Establish a clear Township Boundary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           5   Green Wedge

                                  u                        u                                                                                                                                                                                                   - Protect the rural character including agricultural land
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               - Limit development in areas with high environmental
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and landscape values including significant ridgelines
                                H                                                                                                                                                                 N
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           6   Lions Club Park

               H                                           3                                                                                                          100m        500m                                                                         - Masterplan opportunity in collaboration with Whittlesea
                                    TS RD                                                                                                                                                    1:15,000                                                            Agricultural Society

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           H   Sites/areas identified as anomalies in the planning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               scheme requiring further investigation and/or correction.

                                                               CADES RD
                                                                                                                                                                       Strategic Framework Plan                                                                (Refer Appendix 1)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           u   These sites require further investigation to address
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               specific land use outcomes. (Refer Appendix 2)

Strategy 2020 Draft Whittlesea Township -
Policy Context

    The Whittlesea Township Local Structure Plan (1994)     State Planning Policy Context                              Local Planning Policy Context
    is the key strategic document guiding development
    within the Township. Development within the             Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 is the primary                    Local planning policy focusses on maintaining the
    Whittlesea Township has largely been occurring          metropolitan planning strategy developed by the            existing boundaries and the non-urban breaks which
    in line with the current Local Structure Plan and       Victoria Government, which sets out the long-term          contribute to the character of the area and
    associated Outline Development Plans which are          vision for the city. It sets the strategy for supporting   protecting rural, environmental and significant
    incorporated documents within the Whittlesea            jobs, housing and transport, while building on             landscape values. It recognises the importance
    Planning Scheme. The Local Structure Plan is now        Melbourne’s legacy of distinctiveness, liveability         of Green Wedge areas with large parts of the
    outdated and much of the land identified for future     and sustainability. Planning at a local level needs        municipality valuable for their agricultural
    residential housing has been largely developed. It
                                                            to ensure consistency with and give effect to State        productivity and well as containing significant
    is within this context that the Whittlesea Township
                                                            Planning Policy.                                           natural features and areas of cultural significance
    Strategy 2020 (the Strategy) has been developed in
                                                                                                                       which contribute to the character and identity
    order to set the direction for the future development
                                                            Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 notes that growth is to be        of the municipality. Parts of the municipality are
    of the Township over the next twenty years.
                                                            focused in the established suburbs and those areas         also susceptible to environmental hazards such as
                                                            within the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).                    bushfire and flooding, and planning needs to ensure
    The Whittlesea Green Wedge Management Plan
                                                            Growth in peri-urban areas is only expected to occur       these risks are considered as part of decision making.
    (2011) also includes an action for Council to
                                                            in specific towns as noted within Plan Melbourne
    undertake a review of the Local Structure Plan with
                                                            2017-2050. Whittlesea is not identified as an area         Planning needs to ensure that greater housing choice
    an emphasis on defining the township boundary
    and interface issues between urban and rural areas.     where significant growth is expected to occur.             is provided to enable residents to ‘age in place’ close
                                                                                                                       to established networks, family and support
    The Strategy has been prepared within the context       It is also noted that there is a significant focus on      services. Planning policy seeks to ensure the distinct
    established by State Planning Policy including Plan     protecting natural environments and landscapes,            rural character of the Township remains through
    Melbourne 2017-2050, Melbourne’s Growth Corridor        as well as a need to protect high quality agricultural     encouraging standard residential density within
    Plans, the Whittlesea Planning Scheme and               land in and around Melbourne for food production.          much of the Township, with more diverse forms of
    Whittlesea 2040: A place for all. A summary of the                                                                 housing in the town centre.
    overarching directions set by current state and local   Significant areas in the south and west of the
    planning policy is included below. More detailed        municipality are identified for future urban growth,       Any changes to the Planning Scheme resulting from
    commentary on those policies that specifically relate   and recognise the importance of retaining key              this Strategy, will be considered through a separate
    to this Strategy is included in Appendix 3.             landscape and environmental features in Green              Planning Scheme Amendment process, subject to
                                                            Wedge areas.                                               Council approval, including a formal public exhibition
    The Strategy also has regard to other major plans and                                                              process.
    strategies which have been developed for the City of

8   Whittlesea Township Strategy
Strategy 2020 Draft Whittlesea Township -
City of Whittlesea Policy                                  opportunities the municipality will face ensuring that        The Whittlesea Township Strategy 2020 seeks to
                                                           the City of Whittlesea is a great place for all, now          deliver on the Whittlesea 2040: A place for all
Whittlesea 2040: A place for all                           and into the future. Whittlesea 2040: A place for all         outcomes at a local level by directly responding to
                                                           is expected to guide all future Council work as we            those issues raised by the community and producing
The Strategy has been developed to align with all          develop strategies for our key centres. It will enable        a plan that provides solutions to meet the specific
four of the overarching goals of Whittlesea 2040: A        us to develop a more consistent approach with the             needs of the community and support the Township’s
Place for All (Refer Diagram 1). Whittlesea 2040: A        development of all of our strategies giving equal and         unique character through a collaborative whole of
place for all provides the long-term strategic vision      fair consideration to the same key elements that              Council approach to the implementation and delivery
for the municipality, which was developed through          contribute to a liveable community, but which reflect         of the Strategy. The Strategy will be achieved
the shared aspirations of the community and                local community views and aspirations.                        through a framework of strategic objectives and
Council, and responds to the challenges and                                                                              actions across the four priority goals of Whittlesea
                                                                                                                         2040: A place for all.

  Goal 1. Connected community                                                                                       Goal 2: Liveable neighbourhoods

  • A socially cohesive community                                                                                   • Smart, connected transport network
  • A healthy and safe community                                                                                     • Well-designed neighbourhoods and vibrant
  • A participating community                                                                                          town centres
                                                                                                                      • Housing for diverse needs

                                                                                     A place for all
  Goal 3: Strong local economy                                                                                       Goal 4: Sustainable environment

  • Increased local employment                                                                                       • Valued natural landscapes and biodiversity
  • Education opportunities for all                                                                                  • Climate ready
  • Successful, innovative local businesses                                                                          • Leaders in clean, sustainable living

Diagram 1 – Whittlesea 2040: A place for all – Priority Goals and Key Directions

Strategy 2020 Draft Whittlesea Township -
Related strategies
     There are a number of current plans and strategies, which have specific related actions for the Whittlesea Township that are currently being implemented or which are
     proposed to be implemented. This Strategy has been informed by, and responds to, these strategic documents. Where these documents contain specific
     recommendation(s) that have direct implications for this Strategy, they have been included as a priority action:

     • Community Building Strategy – better together
     • Health and Wellbeing Partnership Plan 2017-2021
     • Community Safety and Crime Prevention Strategy 2016-2020
     • A Positive Ageing Strategy for the Whittlesea Community 2016-2025
     • Disability Action Plan 2017-2021
     • Active Whittlesea 2019
     • Integrated Transport Strategy 2014
     • City of Whittlesea Bicycle Plan 2016-2020
     • City of Whittlesea Open Space Strategy (2016)
     • Housing Diversity Strategy 2013-2033
     • Social and Affordable Housing – Policy and Strategy 2012-2016
     • Economic Development Strategy – Growing our Economy Together
     • Tourism Strategy 2014-2019
     • Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2012-2022
     • Climate Ready Whittlesea
     • Stormwater Management Plan 2012-2017
     • Biodiversity Strategy 2019-2029
     • Green Wedge Management Plan 2011-2021
     • Cultural Heritage Strategy 2019-2025

10   Whittlesea Township Strategy
About Whittlesea

     The City of Whittlesea is located on Melbourne’s
                                                                    2019                                         2040
     metropolitan fringe, approximately 20 kilometres
     north of the central business district. Covering 490
     square kilometres, it is a large municipality with
     established urban, growth and rural areas.               229,7911                                  382,4391
                                                              estimated resident                        estimated resident
                                                                  population                                population
     Location and Geography                                                                                                                   Rural Balance

                                                                                                                                             3,257      3,807
     The Whittlesea Township is located within the
     peri-urban area of Melbourne approximately 40
     kilometres from the CBD and 10 kilometres north of                                                                                                                 Humevale

     the existing suburban area. Whittlesea Township and                                                            Eden Park

     surrounds has a land area of 1,994 ha (20 Km2)1. It is                                                                                Whittlesea Township
                                                                                                                                             and surrounds
     a unique area being a rural style Township in                                                                                           5,521      6,820

     proximity to outer suburban Melbourne.

     Located at the edge of the Great Dividing Range                          232      50,355                     Woodstock

     adjacent to the Yan Yean Reservoir, Whittlesea                                                                                             Yan Yean

     Township is nestled between Whittlesea Hills to the
     west and Eastern Hills to the east with the Plenty
     River traversing through the centre. In addition,
     views from the Township to the Plenty Ranges                                                                                                    Doreen
                                                                                              Wollert                                          26,545      30,980
     form a strong landscape backdrop. Planning for the                                 368      35,314                           Mernda

     Township to date has largely sought to protect these                                                                  25,882     34,461

     significant topographical features which contribute                                       Epping North
     to the local landscape amenity and have assisted in                                  34,531        57,398

     defining the current Township boundary. Maintaining                                                                      South Morang

     a separation between the Whittlesea Township and                                          Epping
                                                                                                                           24,813     32,171

     proposed urban development to the south and west                                  16,059       23,362
     has been a key attribute of land use planning for                                                               Mill Park
     the Plenty Valley precinct within the North Growth                                25,255
                                                                                                                 30,376     30,366
     Corridor Plan.                                                                                                                                              Precinct population 2019       2040
                                                                                        Thomastown                        Bundoora                               Suburb boundary
                                                                                      21,988       28,404          14,965        19,479
                                                                                                                                                                 Precinct boundary

12   Whittlesea Township Strategy
Rural centre                                            The Church Street precinct serves as the main retail     Population
                                                        and commercial area extending from Beech Street in
First surveyed in 1838, post-European contact           the north to Laurel Street to the south. It is           The population of the Whittlesea Township is
development of the Whittlesea area was driven by        anchored by the historic 1864 Whittlesea Courthouse      estimated to be 5,521 as of 20192. The Whittlesea
grazing and agriculture. Whittlesea Township is now     in the north and the 1926 Soldier Monument in the        Township performs an important retail, service and
surrounded by the rural areas of Eden Park, Yan Yean,   south. Its compact form and mix of retailers             tourism role for the local and surrounding areas.
Humevale and Kinglake West, and acts as the major       supports its role as service centre to meet the daily
service centre for people in these areas and beyond,    and weekly shopping needs of its local residents and     Recreation, community facilities
providing opportunities for social connections          surrounding region. The Plenty Road industrial
through meeting places and access to a range of         precinct is located towards the southern entrance of     and tourism
community services and facilities in addition to        the Township supporting a mix of commercial and
                                                        industrial activities.                                   There are a number of tourism features in and
meeting day to day shopping needs. Its locational
                                                                                                                 around Whittlesea Township including various events
context has had a major impact on its growth. Its
                                                        Some of the early heritage buildings constructed         e.g. Whittlesea Agricultural Show and Whittlesea
proximity to metropolitan Melbourne and its rural
                                                        from 1860 onwards still remain including various         Market; significant parks including the Yan Yean
surrounds has allowed the Township to develop its
                                                        public and commercial buildings, and residences and      Reservoir; formalised adventure parks such as
own unique character.
                                                        ruins from the earliest pastoral settlements through     Funfields; and nearby golf courses. More recently
                                                        to the inter-war period.                                 there has been an increase in cycling tourism in the
The Township has a strong rural setting, surrounded
                                                                                                                 area. Agriculture is also an important part of land
by significant ridgelines which offer panoramic views
                                                        Whittlesea Township is located within the traditional    management in and around Whittlesea Township and
of the nearby hills and distant mountains from
                                                        land of the people from the Woi wurrung language         also plays an important part of the overall economic
core areas of the Township. For the most part there
                                                        group (EHP, 2012). The Woi wurrung were made             profile of the municipality.
are clear edges to the town and the delineation
between urban and rural land. These landscape and       up of several clans, one of which was the Wurundjeri
                                                        Willam Clan, the traditional custodians of Whittlesea.   Community facilities are important for the social
topographic features have been identified as
                                                        Areas along the waterways are identified as              cohesion of an area. Whittlesea Township is
significantly contributing to the character of the
                                                        being areas of cultural heritage sensitivity,            reasonably well serviced from a community facility,
Township by the local community.
                                                        acknowledging the local waterways as being               recreation and open space perspective.
                                                        important locations for food and other indigenous

Whittlesea Township Context Plan

                   Wallan - 17km                                                                                                                                    Yea - 43km
               Green Wedge
                                             RD                                                                Green Wedge                           LE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Green Wedge
                                                      WALLAN RD                                                                                W


                                      GLENBU                         ACK
                                                  RNIE RD         BL


                                                                                                                                                                                                   Township extent/potential UGB
                                                                                                                             RIDGE RD
                                                                                                    BEECH ST
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Town Centre
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Significant Landscape Overlay

                                                                                                                                                                                                   Land Subject to inundation Overlay

                                                                                                                                                                                                   Employment land
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Low Density Residential
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Township Residential
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Green wedge land
                             Whittlesea                                                                                                                                                            Waterways
                               Hills                                                                                                                                                               Melbourne Water treatment facility

                                                                                                                               Yan Yean Reservoir -
                                                                                                                              Melbourne Water Facility

                                                                                                                                                                          100m   500m

         Green Wedge
                                                                                         CADES RD
                                                                                                                    Green Wedge                                                                    Context Plan
                                                                                     Melbourne - 40km

14   Whittlesea Township Strategy
Whittlesea Township Fast Facts

• By 2041 the population in Whittlesea Township         • By 2041 the service age group expected to 		           • In 2019, Whittlesea Township has the largest
  is forecast to reach 6,882 (an increase of 1,360 or     experience the greatest change includes those            proportion of lone person households compared
  24.67% from 2019) (compared to 69.0%                    aged 70 and over (                          to all other precincts within the municipality. The
  increase in population between 2019 (229,791)                                                                    proportion of lone person households in
  and 2041 (388,417) for the City of Whittlesea
                                                                    SERVICE                                        Whittlesea Township is also significantly higher

  (                                                                                                   than the municipal average (25.8% compared to
                                                                                                                   16.1% for City of Whittlesea) (

                                                        • In 2041, the three largest age groups
                          FORECAST                        are expected to be those aged 15-19,
                                                          10-14 and 5-9.

• Whittlesea Township has a higher proportion of
                                                                                LARGEST                          • Analysis of the method of travel to work of the
                                                                                                                   residents in Whittlesea Township and Surrounds
                                                                                AGE GROUPS
  residents aged 85 years and older compared to                                                                    in 2016, compared to City of Whittlesea, shows
  the City of Whittlesea average (2.9% and 1.2%                                                                    that 3.7% used public transport, while 77.6% used
  respectively) (                                                                                      a private vehicle, compared with 10.8% and 74.5%
                                                        • The total number of dwellings in Whittlesea 		           respectively in City of Whittlesea.
                                                          Township in 2019 is 2,116. It is forecast that total     (
                                                          number of dwellings in this precinct will increase
       RESIDENTS AGED                                     by 655 dwellings by 2041 (approximately 30

       85 YEARS                                           dwellings per annum) (
       AND OLDER                                                                                                                             OF TRAVEL

                                                                  NUMBER OF
                                                                                                                                             TO WORK


     Extensive community consultation undertaken              The Strategy has also been informed by the feedback     In addition, this Plan also recognises the need to
     as part of Whittlesea 2040 is a vital part of our        received as part of the bi-annual Household Survey      advocate to the State Government and/or relevant
     approach to informing new Strategies and plans.          which was most recently undertaken in early 2019.       public agencies to give effect to key outcomes
     Its engagement phase reached more than 4,000                                                                     identified through the consultation.
     individuals, community groups and organisations.         A range of matters were raised through the
     Feedback from the engagement process identifies          community consultation, with a number of responses      The result is this Strategy which has been informed
     the broader community vision, aspirations and            dealing with competing interests e.g. support for       by the consultation feedback and seeks to respond to
     priorities for the future for the City                   further residential growth or protection of the Green   these matters in a meaningful manner. The following
     of Whittlesea.                                           Wedge/rural values and retention of the country         section highlights key issues raised through the
                                                              character of the Township; reduction vs increase of     community engagement process (including quotes
     It is clear that there is a strong connection between    specific types of businesses.                           from the community) as they align with the goals and
     the issues/challenges identified for the municipality                                                            key directions of Whittlesea 2040: A place for all.
     more broadly and the key priorities identified by        It is therefore important to recognise that the
     the Whittlesea Township community. As such, it is        Whittlesea Township Strategy 2020 will not be able
     important to recognise that whilst many of these
                                                              to address or facilitate all of the matters raised
     issues/challenges affect the whole of the municipality
                                                              throughout the consultation.
     and will need to be addressed at a municipal level,
     they also need to be considered at a local precinct
     level. Significant work has been/ or is proposed to be
     undertaken to respond to many of these municipal
     wide issues.

     The City of Whittlesea previously consulted with
     people in the Whittlesea Township to better
     understand what is currently working within the                                                                                   WHITTLESEA
     Township and what improvements could be made.
     We also heard what your aspirations are for the
     Township’s future. Over 640 responses were received                                                                                      A place for all
     through this consultation process.

     It is significant that the responses provided as
     part of the Whittlesea 2040 engagement, are
     generally reflective of the more targeted community
     engagement previously undertaken for the
     Whittlesea Township.

16   Whittlesea Township Strategy
Goal 1. Connected community                                                                                                     ‘roads need
                                                        ‘I love how                                                                  upgrading’
           Maintaining a strong sense of             the municipality
           community is an important issue.          embraces urban                                 ‘stop patching
                                                    and rural living and                          roads and fix them
           Safety (real and perceived) is a           communities’.                                properly. Patches                                   ‘walking and
           significant issue for the community.                                                     break quickly’                                     cycling tracks
                                                                                                                                                        around the
           The provision of services and facilities, including                                                                                           township’
           recreation opportunities, appropriate for all ages and
           abilities is seen as important by the community.            ‘is a safe and
                                                                    secure environment
                                                                         for all who                     Goal 2. Liveable neighbourhoods -
                                                                          live here’.                    Smart, connected transport
                  facilities for all
                  ages to enjoy’                                                                                 The community is significantly car-dependent and
                                                                                                                 improvements to the road network in addition
                                                                                                                 to improvements to public transport options are
                                                                                                                 highly desired by the community.
   ‘has the same                                                                           ‘more buses at
  community feel,                                                                        more frequent rates.
                                                                                                                 Improvements to the pedestrian/cycling network
where crime is at a                                                                       Better connected
                                                                                                                 is also important to encourage greater active
 minimum, people                                                                            walking track’
                                                                                                                 travel in the local area.
feel safe, take pride
   in their town.

                             ‘has a strong                      ‘I like our                                                                ‘walking/cycling
                         sense of community,                 neighbourhood                                                                 paths are poorly
                          welcomes diversity                because of all the                                                                connected’
                            and retains its                    supportive
                          ‘village character’                    people’

Goal 2. Liveable neighbourhoods -                                                                       I don’t have
                                                                                                                                    any issues with the                         ‘Maintain
                               Well designed neighbourhoods                                                                          boundary being                       residential boundary
                                                                                                                                                                             as they are. No
                                                                                               ‘The reason we                       extended. There is
                                                                                                                                    plenty of space to                         expansion’
                                                                                             moved to Whittlesea
                                      The community has indicated a strong desire                                                         extend.’
                                                                                              was because of its
                                      to retain the rural character of the Township.
             ‘Hope we                                                                         quaint style. More
                                      The surrounding hills, landscaping and trees
           don’t lose the                                                                      housing would
                                      contribute to the character of the area.
             rural feel’                                                                          ruin this’
                                      Design that respects the existing character
                                      needs to be considered as part of any new
                                      development.                                                                        Goal 2. Liveable neighbourhoods -
                                                                                                ‘I love the               Housing for diverse needs
                                                                                            way Whittlesea
                                                                                            is still a country         Community responses diverged in relation to the need for and
                                     ‘Opposed to
                                                                                                   town’.              ways to manage further residential growth of the Township.
                                  medium and high
                                   density housing.
                                  Important to keep                                                                    Some community members indicated a need for more diverse
                                   our country feel’.                                                                  housing options to better meet the needs of the community.

          ‘I love our
     natural environment                                                                                                                                                       ‘Do not agree
       and everything                                                                                        ‘Aged care homes;                                                with increasing
                                                                                                            ‘Retirement village’;                    ‘I am not sure
           it offers’                                                                                                                                                         housing density
                                                                                                                ‘…more share                      where the exiting
                                                                       ‘The landscape,                                                                                          - will destroy
                                                                                                            accommodation for                   boundary is, however              character’
                                    ‘Housing                          space, wildlife and
                                                                                                               the disabled in               I think more people living
                                 should respect                        mountains, small
                                                                                                                  this town’.                  in the township means
                                 rural character’                       population of
                                                                                                                                                more support for the
                                                                                                                                                   local businesses.’

18     Whittlesea Township Strategy
‘Maintain our natural
Goal 3. Strong local economy                                                  ‘Waterways
                                                                           in general in the           rivers and creeks whilst
                                                                          Township are not          improving flow and appearance
                                                                               kept clean’             of the area, that can be
 Increased opportunities for overnight                                                                maintained by Melbourne
 accommodation options, specialty shops, more
                                                                                                        Water and the Council
 diverse dining options, tourism related opportunities
                                                                                                          on a regular basis’
 and larger retailers are desirable by the community.

 There is support for a defined boundary around the                                 ‘Flooding
 Township to protect Green Wedge values including                                  anywhere
 farming/agricultural activities.                                                is important.’
                                                                                                    Goal 4. Sustainable environment
 Increased local employment opportunities is seen as
 important by some community members.
                                                                                                  Environmental risks in the form of flooding and bushfire were
                                                             ‘More local                          identified as key issues by some community members.
                                                         jobs – especially for
        ‘I love what I                                     younger people’                        Controlling weeds and the ongoing management of waterways
       do. Owning and                                                                             including removal of weeds has been identified as an issue by
       running a farm’                                                                            some residents.

                                                                                                  Some residents identified the need for the planting of
                                                                                                  additional trees or replacing existing trees with alterative
                                                                                                  species within the Township.
      ‘We need
 accommodation –
                                                                                                                                                  ‘More trees
nowhere for families                                           ‘Land should be                           ‘Should be
                                                                                                                                                  on entrances
 to stay if attending                                        kept for agricultural                     bushfire- proof -
                                                                                                                                                  to the town’
  any functions in                                                  uses’                              wetland for flood
     Whittlesea’                                                                                         mitigation’

Whittlesea Township Strategy 2020

     The Whittlesea Township Strategy 2020 (the             Additional actions have been identified where           Each focus area details the desired vision to be
     Strategy) establishes a shared community vision        appropriate to address identified gaps or issues.       achieved, provides a discussion of the key issues and
     and establishes a framework for the community,                                                                 relevant policy considerations and highlights what
     Council and other partner organisations to work        The Strategy embodies the goals and key directions      the community told us. It also provides an outline of
     in a more collaborative manner to ensure a more        within Whittlesea 2040: A place for all, which          Council’s future direction and the priority actions we
     integrated approach to planning, implementation        provides the framework for a liveable community. It     will undertake in response to the context and
     and ongoing monitoring and evaluation. This Strategy   presents a vision for the future of the Township and    evidence presented.
     brings together key actions which we are already       details for how this vision might be achieved through
     implementing through existing strategies and           six focus areas as follows:
     initiatives across Council where these respond to an
     identified need by the community and the desired
     outcomes being sought.

             1. Connected community

             2. Liveable Neighbourhoods - Smart, connected transport

             3. Liveable neighbourhoods - Well designed neighbourhoods and vibrant town centres

             4. Liveable neighbourhoods - Housing for diverse needs

             5. Strong local economy

             6. Sustainable environment

20   Whittlesea Township Strategy
1. Connected Community                                    relatively large proportion of 12-17 year old            Whittlesea Township has a good range of community
                                                          residents compared to other areas, reflecting the        infrastructure but the feedback received, asking
Vision – Desired Outcomes                                 community desire to improve services and facilities      for new or improved facilities perhaps highlights
                                                          used by young people within the community1. Those        changing social needs along with a need to think
The creation of a welcoming, safe, inclusive Township     aged between 5-19 years will continue to remain the      differently about how we use or program existing
where people are inspired to work together to make        most populous group to 20312.                            community spaces. There is an opportunity to
their community better. Whittlesea is a thriving                                                                   better use existing community spaces to meet the
rural township that offers an alternative lifestyle to    Like many established areas of Melbourne, the            identified community facility gaps such as shortage
the established urban areas. There is opportunity for     overall population in the Township is ageing, with the   of playgroup and meeting spaces e.g. adjusting
active community participation and for residents          largest forecast growth expected to occur amongst        programming at existing community facilities.
to engage in community life and celebrate diversity.      those aged 70-84 years. Between 2016 and 2031 the
There are a broad range of community services and         age structure forecasts for Whittlesea Township and      Community Infrastructure Needs assessment for the
facilities within the Township ensuring good access       surrounds indicate a 46.6 per cent increase in           township have identified the need for a health hub in
to health and support services. Physically,               population of retirement age2. This sector of the        the Township area that allows for flexible spaces for
opportunities for walking, social interaction and         population will have increasing healthcare and social    specialist services and which could also provide for
recreation are encouraged by the more intimate            support needs to age in place.                           the expansion of disability services in the Township.
nature of the township; its compact town centre and                                                                There is also an identified need for emergency food
accessibility to parks, walking trails and open spaces.   Community Infrastructure                                 relief services.

Key Issues - Discussion                                   Community infrastructure is vital to life in a rural     Council should continue to work with existing service
                                                          township. It provides opportunities to come together,    providers in the Township, to identify opportunities
As we plan, it is important to understand the local       to engage with friends or to form new connections        to facilitate ancillary services to meet the needs of
community and its changing social make up. The age,       and reduce social isolation, to be active and provide    the community within the Whittlesea Township.
fabric and what people will need the place to be for      passive recreation opportunities. Social participation
them over time will be informed by having a better        is also important to health and well-being. The          Whittlesea Township has a wide variety of recreation
understanding of the community and how it will            Health and Wellbeing Partnership Plan 2017-2021          services and facilities and is well-provided for,
change over time.                                         acknowledges that there is an established link           particularly by non-Council facilities. A number of
                                                          between social connection and inclusion and positive     these facilities are accessible for community use
Below, is a snapshot of the key issues that are           mental health and wellbeing.                             (e.g. for meeting spaces). Whilst the opportunity
influencing the community:                                                                                         to increase the size of facilities dedicated to youth
                                                          As part of the community feedback received, places       services should be investigated within the Township,
Changing demographics                                     for teenagers, swimming pools, playgrounds and           it is expected that existing youth services, sport and
                                                          health facilities were identified as the main leisure    recreation spaces as well as events planned at the
The Township contains the third largest proportion        and community facilities requiring improvement.          Mernda Town Centre will continue to meet the needs
of primary aged residents in the municipality and a                                                                for children and young people.

Open Spaces in Whittlesea                                and/or managed public open space, the opportunity        municipality) was identified as a key community
                                                              to work with the Whittlesea Agricultural Society to      priority as part of the 2019 Household Survey
     Within the Whittlesea Township and surrounds,            strengthen the connection between the Lions Park         with respondent households from the Whittlesea
     approximately 30ha is set aside for open space           and the Township should be investigated given its        Township area nominating it as the second highest
     purposes which constitutes approximatively 1.5%          central location in the Township and overall benefits    priority in the survey. Community safety and crime
     of the township area. According to the Open Space        to the community’s health and well-being.                prevention remains a key priority of the Health and
     Strategy (2016) the available open space per person                                                               Wellbeing Partnership Plan 2017-2021. Addressing
     is 62sqm. The total quantity of open space in the        Open Space Improvements                                  crime and community safety has strong synergies
     precinct is relatively low when compared to the                                                                   with community building, good health, wellbeing and
     whole precinct area, this is primarily due to the lack   In recent years, Council has undertaken significant      improved access to education and employment.
     of public open space in the low density residential      works to install new/upgraded playground
     and rural areas where land parcels are larger. Within    equipment at Oakbank Boulevard Park and Willow           Whilst policing falls under the direct control of the
     the township itself, there is a generous provision of    Park. The upgrade of the playground at Fir Street        Victorian Government, a number of community
     open space.                                              is also proposed which is expected to address            members have used the community engagement
                                                              community feedback regarding the need for more           processes to advocate for better policing within the
     Key open space areas in the Township include             playgrounds. Other recent open space improvements        Whittlesea Township. Whilst Council is largely limited
     Whittlesea Park, the adjoining AF Walker Recreation      include a new dog-off leash area in Whittlesea Park      to an advocacy role with Victoria Police
     Reserve and the Whittlesea Showground. Other             and new cricket nets and additional female change        infrastructure and policing, it is noted that the
     smaller areas of open space include Church Street        rooms at the AF Walker Reserve. An upgrade of the        Mernda Police Station, which opened in 2017, has
                                                              Skate Park is also proposed subject to grant funding.
     Park in the main street (noting that this is privately                                                            resulted in a realignment of response zones in the
                                                              Improvement works were also recently completed
     owned), and open space reserves in the more                                                                       region, which has seen a substantial reduction in the
                                                              at the Whittlesea Swim Centre including a new
     recently established urban areas to the north and                                                                 population coverage by the Whittlesea Police Station,
                                                              entry, change rooms, kiosk, synthetic lawn areas and
     west of Beech Street including Eagles Nest Park and                                                               which is expected to improve response times.
                                                              seating. Further works to improve the facility are due
     Black Flat Reserve.
                                                              to be completed in 2020 and include an all abilities
                                                              play zone with water play features, upgrade of one       What did you tell us?
     Improving connectivity to and between open space,        change room to a Changing Places standard change
     particularly from Whittlesea Park has been identified    room and shade sails. All of these improvements seek     Through the consultation we heard that:
     within the Open Space Strategy. Other                    to increase community participation and contribute
     recommendations relate to increasing opportunities       to the health and wellbeing of the community.            • The community has a strong desire to see
     to improve walking and cycling links; diversity and                                                                 improvements to places for teenagers, swimming
     accessibility of recreation facilities; and adding to    Community Safety                                           pools and playgrounds. Respondents see services
     the linear open space corridors along Bruces Creek                                                                  and places for young people as an important issue
     and Scrubby Creek. Whilst the Open Space Strategy        Safety, policing, crime and drugs (which includes          that needs addressing.
     captures key opportunities for Council owned             issues around the perception of safety in the

22   Whittlesea Township Strategy
• The community wants to build on the strong 		        • Opportunities that improve the health, safety and     Council will:
  sense of community, diversity and inclusiveness of     wellbeing of our community are also highly
  the Township through opportunities that bring the      valued, with respondents identifying the need for     • continue to identify gaps/opportunities to
  community together including community 		              a 24-hour police station, improvements to health        improve infrastructure provision.
  festivals and events.                                  facilities, public art and education facilities.
                                                                                                               • continue to implement key actions from the Open
• The community also identified a desire for 		        • The community also expressed a desire for 		            Space Strategy (2016) as it applies to Whittlesea
  improvements to community infrastructure 		            more street lighting to encourage a safe, well-lit      Township.
  to enhance opportunities for greater community         environment that encourages active travel.
  connectedness and social inclusion through 		                                                                Priority Actions
  facilities such as a public square, education 		     Future Direction
  facilities, community meeting rooms, 		                                                                      1. Investigate the feasibility of preparing of a local
  performance spaces and public art.                   Council will work with the community to identify           community plan for the Whittlesea Township to
                                                       and deliver programs that support a safe and healthy       increase community connectedness and
• The community also identified the need for a         environment. Wherever possible, Council will work          investigate opportunities to address identified
  range of improvements to open space including        in partnership with the community to better                service and facility gaps.
  the provision of more playground equipment           empower the community to take greater
  (including exercise equipment); the need for an      responsibility for its own direction. Whilst minor to   2. As part of future service reviews consider how
  off-leash dog park; and improvements to the BMX      moderate infrastructure additions are anticipated,         existing facilities can be utilised more efficiently
  track/skate park, which is reflective of other       there is an opportunity for more streamlined               to deliver additional services.
  feedback supporting improvement to facilities and    management of services within existing facilities
  services for children and young people.              to meet community needs. Council will work with         3. Enhance the safety of our community through
                                                       service providers to meet the current and future           the appropriate design of community facilities to
• Opportunities for improvements to the public         needs of the community including health services.          promote passive surveillance, provision of
  realm and public open spaces within the Township                                                                lighting and promotion of active spaces and
  are strongly desired by the community including      Council will continue to enhance open space                activities.
  the need for more and upgraded toilets 		            assets and community infrastructure to encourage
  (particularly in Lions Park, at the Showgrounds      increased participation levels.                         4. Continue to implement the Open Space Strategy
  and at the park across the road from the 		                                                                     (2016) as it applies to the Whittlesea Township.
  showgrounds), additional walking and bike paths;     Council will continue to implement key actions from
  and more amenities such as picnic tables, drinking   the Open Space Strategy (2016) as it applies to the     5. Investigate the opportunity to work with
  fountains, seating, BBQ areas and public bins.       Whittlesea Township.                                       the Whittlesea Agricultural Society to develop a
                                                                                                                  masterplan for Lions Park South to strengthen
                                                                                                                  the connection between the park and the town

2. Liveable neighbourhoods                             This is of particular importance for the Whittlesea      Transport access can influence other key
                                                            Township given the reliance on the bus network as        determinants of health including access to
        - Smart, connected transport                        the only form of public transport in the Township.       education, employment and affordable housing.
                                                            Greater emphasis should be placed on planning to         Giving people a greater transport choice in a quality
     Vision – Desired Outcomes
                                                            slow traffic movement within the commercial centre       built environment improves social connections,
                                                            of the Township to encourage safer pedestrian and        access to employment and greater equity.
     A balanced approach to accessibility, connectivity
                                                            cycling movement. Provision of a safe and efficient
     and providing equitable access for employment and
                                                            network of paths, tracks and trails for walking          The following section provides a snapshot of the
     social connections is at the heart of creating more
                                                            and cycling will also ensure that people can move        key issues that will influence provision of transport
     liveable communities. Due to the Township’s
                                                            throughout the Township more easily with significant     access within the Township:
     location, it is recognised that an efficient road
                                                            health benefits for the community by increasing
     network is important to provide connections to jobs,
                                                            active travel options.                                   Private vehicle use
     services and social networking opportunities.
                                                            Key Issues - Discussion                                  The Whittlesea Township provides an important
                                                                                                                     regional centre service role to the surrounding rural
                                                            Located approximately 9 kilometres north of the          communities, and as such will always have a strong
                                                            Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) and remote from the          focus on private vehicle use. As typical of
                                                            Principal Public Transport Network (PPTN), residents     geographically remote settlements, Whittlesea
                                                            are heavily reliant on private vehicles for transport.   Township and surrounds is significantly car
                                                            Traffic management is consistently identified as the     dependent with almost 60 per cent of households
                                                            top issue for Council to address in the Annual           having access to two or more vehicles. Just over
                                                            Household Survey. Traffic management and roads           three-quarters of residents indicated that journey by
                                                            maintenance and repairs were identified within the       car was the main method of travel to work. Less than
                                                            top 3 priorities by respondents from the Whittlesea      5 per cent used public transport to get to work. The
                                                            Township (Annual Household Survey 2019). Bus             domination of use by private car is compounded by
                                                            services are the only form of public transport within    the lack of viable public transport options available
                                                            the Whittlesea Township, and consistent with the         and reliance on the bus network which is considered
                                                            findings of the Integrated Transport Strategy,           inefficient by the community. Council has received
                                                            residents consider that public transport provision       feedback from the community about traffic and car
                                                            is insufficient to meet people’s needs in terms of       parking issues in relation to a number of sites in
                                                            frequency, reliability and general access.               Whittlesea, including Funfields and local schools,
                                                                                                                     which will need to be managed into the future.

24   Whittlesea Township Strategy
Public transport                                            and managed by VicRoads, including Plenty Road and        to further increase the rates of active travel and
                                                            Wallan Road. Whilst Council is limited to an advocacy     improve the walkability of the Township.
Public transport within the Township is limited to          role for improvements to these roads, Council is
the provision of bus services. The frequency of bus         responsible for managing the local network of public      The Integrated Transport Strategy includes an action
services and extended journey times compared to             roads. Council will continue to prioritise local roads    to advocate for more walking paths around the
travel by car, are barriers to improving patronage.         for improvement as part of its ongoing ‘reseal and        municipality which incorporates the ‘missing links’
It is further noted that the steep hills and lack of        maintenance program’ for the whole of the                 program which is designed to install small sections of
footpaths also make using the bus impractical in            municipality.                                             footpaths in key areas to improve overall connectivity
some parts of the Township. It is noted that in recent                                                                and access. This program has seen a number of
years, there have been some changes to the bus              The intersection of Plenty Road, Laurel Street, Wallan    small and larger footpath projects completed in
network and destinations (i.e. the 385 now goes to          Road and MacMeikan Street was a key intersection          recent years and further works are proposed as part
Greensborough Shopping Centre, a key destination            identified for improvement by the community.              of this ongoing program. Other improvement works
that was requested by the community). Access to             This intersection has since been signalised.              identified for future capital works funding include
public transport for all is an equity issue. Council will                                                             resurfacing of the Bruces Creek Trail from Tambo
continue to advocate for improved public transport          Given the level of pedestrian activity, Church Street     Court to Yea Road.
services to more effectively align to community             is intended to operate with a low speed environment
needs.                                                      to promote safe pedestrian movement around                Council is committed to increasing cycling
                                                            the shopping precinct, whilst facilitating vehicular      participation for residents and visitors of the City
Whilst the extension of the rail line has been              traffic movement. Recent streetscape improvement          of Whittlesea. A number of barriers to encouraging
identified as an important issue for the Whittlesea         works have been undertaken in Church Street               cycling within and around the Township have been
community, advocating for the extension of the              including installation of raised pedestrian crossings,    identified include distance to destinations, lack
metropolitan rail system to the growth areas of             pedestrian and road surface upgrade and improved          of connecting infrastructure and safety. Council’s
Epping North and Wollert which is expected to               car parking.                                              Bicycle Plan has four key directions: make cycling
service approximately 75,000 people, is a major                                                                       safer, encourage and promote cycling, build and
priority for the City of Whittlesea.                        Active Travel                                             maintain a high quality network and monitor cycling
The train line was extended to Mernda in mid-2018,                                                                    into the future. The Northern Regional Trails Strategy
bringing the train line within approximately 10             Council’s Annual Household Survey (2017) indicates        identifies the opportunity to develop a ‘Rail Trail’
kilometres of Whittlesea Township.                          that the levels of walking and cycling use (for non-      between Mernda and Whittlesea Township using the
                                                            work related trips) are higher within the Whittlesea      existing rail corridor. The Rail Trail would provide
Physical infrastructure                                     Township than in other areas of the municipality.         tourism benefits for the township and provide access
                                                            There is opportunity to improve the connectivity and      to the South Morang and Mernda Train stations and
Several of the main roads traversing the Whittlesea         safety of shared paths and to identify desire lines for   to a number of Regional Parks and Conservation
Township are classified as arterial roads and any           walking and cycling within the Township and the           areas.
works or improvements to these roads are funded             barriers in place that prevent them from occurring,

What did you tell us?                                  Future Direction                                          Council will:

     Through the consultation we heard that:                The Integrated Transport Strategy (2014) recognises       • continue to advocate to the State Government
                                                            that the City of Whittlesea faces significant transport     and relevant agencies to ensure safe and efficient
     • The community identified the need for 		             challenges over the next 20 years and identifies            road and public transport networks and services
       significant improvements to public transport, with   the transport priorities for the municipality and           are provided which are essential to providing
       improvements ranging from major infrastructure       actions necessary to ensure the transport needs             connections to jobs, services and social
       provision (e.g extension of the train line to 		     of the community are met. Whilst a number of the            networking opportunities
       Whittlesea) to increased frequency and reliability   actions are relevant to the Whittlesea Township,
       of existing bus services and new/improved routes     Whittlesea Township Strategy 2020 seeks to give           • continue to identify and implement upgrades
       of travel/destinations.                              effect to the actions at a local level.                     and improvements to the local road and
                                                                                                                        pedestrian/shared path networks to improve
     • Opportunities for the provision and maintenance      Council will continue to identify and implement             accessibility around the Township and offer
       of active transport infrastructure, including 		     upgrades and improvements to the local road                 opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing
       walking paths and bicycle tracks which contributes   network, in addition to addressing the ‘missing links’      of the community.
       to a healthy community are also highly valued by     of priority footpaths through the Capital Works
       the community. Improvements are needed to            program. Council will also continue to advocate for       Priority Actions
       provide greater connectivity and integration of      improvements to main arterial roads where issues
       cycling and walking routes and to provide for        are identified.                                           6. Continue to advocate to the State Government
       greater accessibility to all.                                                                                     and relevant public agencies for improvements
                                                            As Whittlesea is not part of the Principal Public            to the bus network including more efficient
                                                            Transport Network (PPTN), Council has a significant          service provision and changes to bus routes to
     • The community has also expressed a desire for
                                                            role in advocating for continued improvements to the         better meet the needs of the community.
       the ongoing maintenance and improvements to
                                                            public bus network and improved services for
       the road network to ensure the provision of an
                                                            the Township to better meet the needs of the
       efficient road network. Any changes to the 		                                                                  7. Promote and increase active and
       road network needs to provide for the adequate                                                                    environmentally sustainable travel options,
       movement of vehicles and flow of traffic whilst                                                                   including infrastructure improvements to
                                                            There are also opportunities to improve active travel
       also ensuring pedestrian safety and connectivity.                                                                 facilitate cycling and walking and address
                                                            modes including walking and cycling in addition to
                                                                                                                         ‘missing links’ in the footpath/cycling network.
                                                            improving overall connectivity across the shared
     • Further opportunity for additional car parking,
       particularly around Church Street has also been      path network to achieve a fully integrated cycling and
                                                                                                                      8. Advocate to VicRoads to upgrade the
       raised as an issue by the community.                 walking network.
                                                                                                                         pedestrian crossings at Beech Street (Church
                                                                                                                         Street intersection) to facilitate safer pedestrian

26   Whittlesea Township Strategy
3. Liveable neighbourhoods                               The Church Street retail precinct extending from          seeking support for further development on the
                                                         Beech Street to Laurel Street is an integral part of      fringes of the Township. This has contributed to a
   - Well designed neighbourhoods &                      the Township contributing to community life and a         level of uncertainty amongst the farming community
   vibrant town centres                                  more liveable community. Church Street contains           and the broader community more generally. A
                                                         an eclectic mix of building styles, however the low       key outcome in planning for the future growth of
Vision – Desired Outcomes                                scale of buildings and rhythm of shop fronts and          Whittlesea Township is the protection of the rural
                                                         wide verandahs builds a strong sense of a rural           character of the Township, which is identified as a
Whittlesea Township is the largest rural township        character. Whilst it is important to protect the unique   key aspiration by the community.
within the City of Whittlesea. It has its own unique     character of the town centre it is also important to
character, heritage and sense of place. The rural        ensure that the town centre remains a thriving and        As an important regional service centre, Whittlesea
character of the Township is highly valued by the        economically viable centre and therefore, a balanced      has a number of features that contribute to a strong
local community and plays a strong role in local         approach needs to be taken in respect to any new          and sustainable community including access to a
identity. Planning needs to provide for the protection   development to ensure the best outcome for                broad range of services and social infrastructure,
of the rural character of the Township.                  business and the community.                               open spaces, local jobs and a vibrant town centre.
                                                                                                                   Planning should continue to build on the strengths to
                                                         A well-designed neighbourhood characterised               ensure a high level of connectivity and accessibility
                                                         by a high quality public realm and open spaces.           for all.
                                                         In addition to providing attractive streetscapes
                                                         and public spaces, well-designed infrastructure           The following section provides an outline of the key
                                                                                                                   issues that will influence future planning decisions
                                                         for walking and cycling to ensure a high level of
                                                                                                                   for the Township.
                                                         connectivity between key services and facilities,
                                                         open spaces and places where people live is a critical
                                                                                                                   Local Planning Policy Context
                                                                                                                   There are a number of local planning strategies
                                                         Key Issues - Discussion                                   that affect place making which have influenced the
                                                                                                                   growth of Whittlesea Township to date:
                                                         Whittlesea Township is located outside the
                                                         Metropolitan Urban Growth Boundary (UGB)                  • Following designation of the Plenty Valley as
                                                         however, it does not have a formal boundary to              a main growth corridor in 1987, the Plenty Valley
                                                         control and manage urban growth. Whilst existing            Strategic Plan, approved by the State Government
                                                         landscape features and topographic constraints              in 1990, sought to provide a balanced approach
                                                         limit the ability to further expand the current             to providing new urban communities and
                                                         Township boundaries in many cases, there have been          associated infrastructure, by also designating
                                                         numerous enquiries in recent years from landowners          large areas for conservation and environmental

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