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Harcourt set for further growth

The bowling greens at Harcourt Bowling Club.

Things are happening at Harcourt, with the town set for residential expansion.

Wednesday 8 August 2018

Mount Alexander Shire Council has adopted a combined planning amendment and permit application for a 32 lot subdivision in Harcourt, paving the way for more housing options in the area.

The amendment would rezone land at 26 Market Street Harcourt from Farming Zone to General Residential Zone.

The amendment, now awaiting approval from the Minister for Planning, is accompanied by an application to create 32 residential lots in a two stage subdivision.

The Harcourt Land Use Framework Plan identifies this area, which is close to the town centre, for residential expansion.

Acting Director Sustainable Development Ben Grounds says the proposal helps deliver on Council’s plans for Harcourt as a strategic site for growth.

“Harcourt has so much going for it as a place to invest right now. The town is identified for residential expansion and population growth in the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme, as well as the Loddon Mallee South Regional Growth Plan,” said Mr Grounds.

Harcourt is just minutes off the Calder freeway with easy access to Melbourne, Bendigo and Castlemaine, and nearby rail services. It has a primary school, civic hall, and a variety of recreation facilities, sports clubs and interest groups, as well as a new mountain bike park.

Over the past few years Council has worked with the community to improve Harmony Way and the town centre, including traffic calming works and a street tree planting program. Plans are underway for a new play space in Stanley Park North and improvements to local swimming pool amenities.

Harcourt is also home to a proactive community and is placed to take advantage of tourism opportunities like the Goldfields Track and La Larr Ba Gauwa Park.

“The Harcourt Progress Association is working with government authorities on plans to re-open the old railway station as a community hub next year, and with VicRoads to improve the entrance to the town from the freeway,” said Mr Grounds.

“While the town is famed for its apples, wines, cider, juices and local produce, there is also so much to explore if you love nature or getting active,” said Mr Grounds.

“The mountain bike park is putting Harcourt on the map with 34km of world class trails. It’s also an exciting time for business with the park projected to attract about 50 new jobs and 100,000 visitors a year after five years.”

Council is currently undertaking some town planning work to consolidate the significant strategic planning and community consultation previously undertaken.

“We’ll be conducting further engagement with the community before the end of this year to reaffirm a vision, along with urban growth and streetscape guidelines for Harcourt,” said Mr Grounds.

“This planning will see that residential expansion and job opportunities continue to support local agribusiness and horticultural activity, and complement the natural and cultural features in the area,” he said.

Image: Harcourt Bowling Club, the 'friendliest club in Victoria'.

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