Council endorses Manningham 2040 Strategy
by SANDI MILLER
8th August 2022
WHAT’S IN IT FOR WARRANDYTE?
AT ITS JULY meeting, Manningham Council gave its final endorsement to the Manningham Liveable City Strategy 2040.
Council heard The Liveable City Strategy (LCS) sets out an aspirational 2040 vision that will help shape the municipality’s future over the next 20 years.
The Strategy is a high-level strategic urban design framework that provides direction on improving the liveability of Manningham.
The report contains six key directions to achieve this vision:
- Vibrant Activity Centres
- Thriving Employment
- Housing Choice and Distinct Communities
- Greening Our City
- Sustainable Transport and Travel Mode Choice
- Building Social and Cultural Connections
The LCS outlines plans for activity centres across the municipality, with two activity centres identified in Warrandyte – the Village and Goldfields, outlining areas for placemaking activities, improved pedestrian and cycling access, and better connections between the three precincts at Goldfields.
Pleasingly, the plan also outlines the plans to connect Warrandyte via a cycle path to the Main Yarra Trail.
Councillors received a report outlining the community engagement feedback received during the draft Liveable City Strategy 2040 consultation, which took place in late 2021.
Over 360 responses were received in various forms as part of the recent LCS consultation.
The report said the feedback was “broadly supportive” of the proposed future direction.
Key feedback identified the following top five priorities for the municipality’s activity centres:
- Diverse shops and services
- A night-time economy (evening dining and recreation)
- Town square and a vibrant main street (including outdoor dining)
- Tree-lined streets
- Multi-storey or underground car parking to free up land for public space and mixed-use development.
The report stated that although the LCS outlines several actions, implementation of the LCS has already commenced in various forms.
For our community, the LCS outlines plans for Warrandyte Goldfields and Warrandyte Village; the survey was designed to ask for more qualitative feedback due to their peri-urban/rural characteristics.
The predominant feedback for these centres related to maintaining the area’s existing character, improving traffic congestion (especially along Yarra Street, Warrandyte), improving accessibility, and maintaining the natural environment.
Warrandyte Goldfield’s top priorities relate to creating a more cohesive and well-connected centre.
The Warrandyte, Wonga Park and Park Orchards survey was based on qualitative and quantitative questions.
The top priorities identified from the Warrandyte, Wonga Park and Park Orchards Neighbourhood Plan were:
- Acknowledge that Manningham is located on the traditional homelands of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people and celebrate connection to Country, including all waterways.
- Develop a program to support public artwork at gateways, key public spaces, streetscapes near Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road bridge and an arts/cultural trail along the Yarra River.
- Support attractions, recreational facilities and cultural interpretation material along the Yarra River.
- Upgrade walking and cycling paths linking parks and regional open space, including; investigating an extension of the Main Yarra Trail by creating a shared trail along Heidelberg-Warrandyte Road to connect to Warrandyte Township in accordance with the Eastern Regional Trails Strategy; investigate future linear park expansion between Mullum Mullum Creek and Warrandyte River Reserve.
- Protect and enhance the Green Wedge streetscapes by ensuring residential streets reflect a rural road character.
The report said feedback was generally supportive or neutral in creating a public realm masterplan for Warrandyte Village and Warrandyte Goldfields Activity Centres.
An overwhelming 90 per cent of respondents supported introducing stronger planning controls to prevent inappropriate development within the Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ) and Low-Density Residential Zone (LDRZ) in the Green Wedge.
Warrandyte’s lowest ranking actions were around active/public transport and employment-related activities, along with promoting sustainable forms of tourism in the Green Wedge and supporting businesses within the Green Wedge through events and overnight stays.
Council Officers said they received multiple comments when they surveyed shoppers at Warrandyte Market about maintaining the existing atmosphere of Warrandyte Village, “leaving it as is,” and acknowledging that it is already a great place to shop and dine.
As well as comments around maintaining the existing natural environment surrounding Warrandyte Village:
Please leave it alone – it is busy enough; upgrading will just make it more crowded and degrade the bush areas – do not make us like a suburb; we are an urban edge village.”
“Continue to improve signage to acknowledge and reflect Wurundjeri/Woi Wurrung custodianship and heritage.”
“Sensitivity to our local spaces that are the last gateways of the green wedge must be treated with delicacy and care when looking at improving these spaces.”
However, the number one concern received at the Warrandyte Market was around the significant congestion along Yarra Street with cars backing up along Yarra Street/Warrandyte Road, at the roundabout, and over Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road bridge.
Therefore, the report noted that the LCS would be revised to support the feedback received and would: “Introduce upgrades to Yarra Street east of Whipstick Gully Road to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety and amenity, including additional or relocated crossings, a reduction in the speed limit, traffic calming measures, and shared pavement surface treatments.”
However, the report noted that Council does not own Yarra Street/Warrandyte Road, and therefore any improvements to the road would require a partnership approach between Council and VicRoads.
Warrandyte Goldfields also received comments about the centre’s layout and improving the pedestrian environment and amenity.
Council’s own Heritage Committee requested stronger heritage content for the Warrandyte Township Precinct proposals and across all of Manningham.
Councillors endorsed the LCS, except Cr Stephen Mayne, who had requested an extension of time to consider the 500-page report before voting on it.