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Plan Harcourt

What is Plan Harcourt?

Plan Harcourt is a Council document that integrates two separate but interrelated projects exploring spatial land use planning, town centre design and activation, and local economic development initiatives. The two projects are:
(1) The Harcourt Framework Plan
(2) Shine Harcourt Leanganook

The Harcourt Development Contributions Plan (DCP) is also being prepared. Further information about the Harcourt DCP will be made available in early 2020.

What is the Harcourt Framework Plan?

The Harcourt Framework Plan is a strategic planning document that forms the basis for future changes to the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme.

The Plan includes policy directions and a graphical map that designates future growth and change in the township, including the rezoning of land and the application of overlays.

The Planning Scheme currently includes policy and a framework (graphical) plan for Harcourt. It is proposed to update the policy and the framework (graphical) plan with the new policy and plan prepared by this process.

Timeline: Where are we now?

The draft Plan Harcourt document (downloadable via PDF) and associated fact sheets will be available via this page on Wednesday 20 November 2019. Hard copies will be made available at the community drop-in sessions at the ANA Hall (see details below), the Harcourt Twilight Market and the Civic Centre in Castlemaine.

Table showing where we are in the development of Plan Harcourt. We are currently in the public consultation phase on the draft plan.

How can the community get involved?

• Drop in to see us and discuss the draft Plan Harcourt between 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm at one of the following community drop-in sessions at Harcourt’s ANA Hall (7 High Street Harcourt):
- Wednesday, 20 November 2019
- Wednesday, 11 December 2019

• Visit our stall at the Harcourt Twilight Market at James Park on Saturday 23 November 2019.

• Provide a submission to the draft Plan Harcourt by 5:00 pm, Monday 6 January 2020. Submissions must be made in writing and submitted to Council via email to info@mountalexander.vic.gov.au, via mail to PO Box 185 Castlemaine VIC 3450 or delivered to the Civic Centre in Castlemaine (corner of Lyttleton and Lloyd Streets) between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm.

Why is Plan Harcourt needed?

Harcourt has been identified as a small town that can accommodate planned growth in the region. This is recognised in the Loddon Mallee South Regional Growth Plan 2014 and in the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme.

Future growth and change in the township needs to be carefully planned to promote and preserve local place values, and recognise the highly productive agricultural operations around the town. Furthermore, plans for growth in Harcourt should ensure that provisions are made for appropriate infrastructure, and that the existing natural and cultural features of the area are maintained for the benefit of future residents.

What consultation has occurred up until now?

A discussion paper prepared by the Strategic Planning Unit was released for public comment in November 2018. Following this, Council undertook a range of community activities to inform and engage the Harcourt community in discussions about spatial planning, residential and commercial growth and town centre activation. This included two launch events at Harcourt Bowls Club and Goldfields Track Café, drop-in sessions in Harcourt, surveys, an online interactive map that allowed users to share their ideas, a workshop with Grade 5/6 students at Harcourt Valley Primary School, and meetings and conversations with community groups, government agencies and referral authorities.

A ‘What We Heard paper’ was released in April 2019, summarising feedback from the community and stakeholders.

The Shine Harcourt Leanganook consultation process has also informed the preparation of the draft Plan Harcourt, including the Shine Harcourt Ideas-a-thon and the Ideas Lab.

What's next?

We’re inviting the community to make a submission on the draft Plan Harcourt by Monday 6 January 2020. All submissions will be reviewed by the Strategic Planning Unit, and we will consider making changes to the proposed new policy and/or the framework plan (graphical plan).

Following this, a final Plan Harcourt will be presented to Council for adoption, and an amendment will be prepared to integrate the new policy and framework plan into the planning scheme. A formal public exhibition process will occur separately when a planning scheme amendment has been prepared.

Contact

For further information, please contact Council’s Strategic Planning team on (03) 5471 1700 or email info@mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

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