The time to do this is NOW before decisions are made.
The closing date for feedback is Friday 2 August 2019.
Background to this.
As Stage 1 of the Box Hill review process, Whitehorse Council undertook community consultation in February 2014 with an online survey and a pop-up session in the Box Hill mall. A Stakeholder Reference Group guided by some eminent planning consultancies in Melbourne was established for the project. The result is a comprehensive report (250+ pages) which we featured in the last newsletter. Here it is again. Read it if you like, but please read what’s written below first.
Stage 2 of the review process is now underway and Council would like to know YOUR views about the above report. The Council webpage on Box Hill gives links to many references and information about how to comment via a survey. (See below)
BUT…you’ll be forgiven for not taking on the challenge of reading all 250 pages of the main report and all the additional information, and making sense of it.
WATAG believes the report is well written, but it is technical and, of necessity, it is complex and may be difficult for the layman to understand.
On the other hand we think that the necessary simplification of the issues to enable preparation of another planned online survey may not give respondents enough background information to make reasonable comment.
What’s most important for Box Hill, a plan or an outcome?
WATAG believes that the most important result from all the above is the actual outcome as experienced by people on the ground. We believe that an overall environment can be created which will enrich and engage residents and visitors. We think that planning schemes and regulations should not be the ultimate aim of themselves, but should simply be guidelines to assist all concerned to achieve the desired street-level environment which is ultimately experienced ie “a series of tools that can be incorporated within the planning scheme to guide preferred development outcomes” (Main report p.145).
What outcomes are possible?
Rather than the 250 pages linked to above, WATAG suggests you read the following 9 pages extracted from the main report:
Given the will by both Council and the State Government to make Box Hill a model suburban CBD, and with strong community support for the overall concept, a good result can be achieved. WATAG believes that with the expertise of the consultant panel and Council staff, appropriate planning controls can be specified to bring about the outcome people want.
BUT … YOUR voice is an essential part of this process.
However before you go any further, we suggest you really expand your view of what’s possible, and view the following video. Then make your mind up and comment.Utrecht: Planning for People & Bikes, Not for Cars from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.
You’ve done your preparation, now we hope you will make your contribution.
- Talk to the project team on-site in Box Hill:
Saturday 27 July from 11am to 2pm
Community Kiosk (outside Breadtop), Box Hill Mall
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org (a postal option is also given)
Remember, the closing date for feedback is Friday 2 August 2019.