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Have your say on the draft Plan Harcourt

Harcourt General Store

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Mount Alexander Shire Council is seeking community feedback on the draft of Plan Harcourt that will shape future development of the growing town.

The Council-led project focuses on integrating planning and economic development with community aspirations and local identity.

It incorporates a strategic planning document called the Harcourt Framework Plan and an economic stimulus plan called Shine Harcourt Leanganook.

“Harcourt has been identified as a small town to accommodate planned growth as identified in the Loddon Mallee South Regional Growth Plan and the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme,” said Shannon Meadows, Acting Director Infrastructure and Development.

“Plan Harcourt will help us carefully plan future growth to ensure we promote and preserve the local character, recognise the productive agricultural operations around the town, ensure there is adequate land supply and infrastructure, and protect natural and cultural features in the area.

“The plan has been developed with a focus on understanding and leveraging Harcourt’s distinctive place character and features,” said Mr Meadows.

“We want to ensure that any growth and change builds on the town’s existing character, and will positively contribute to a strong sense of place in Harcourt.”

The structure of the Plan Harcourt is based around five themes, or principles for managing change, identified through community engagement.

The themes include managing growth in a rural village setting, defining an attractive and useable town centre, a town based on growing, producing and making, maintaining open views and native trees, and improving opportunities for transport, connection and movement.

Actions in the plan are grouped into the categories of planning policy reforms, urban design interventions and advocacy priorities that can be driven by Council and the community.

“Over the past 18 months we’ve undertaken extensive research and spent a lot of time talking and listening to people who live, work and play in Harcourt.

“The strategies and actions in the plan were developed in response to the things we heard were important to the town, and the plan is now open for community feedback to ensure we have captured the community’s aspirations and set the right directions for change,” said Mr Meadows.

To find out more about the plan head to a drop in session from 4.00pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday 11 December at the ANA Hall in Harcourt, or chat to the project team at the Harcourt Twilight Market on Saturday 23 November.

Visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/PlanHarcourt to view the plan and find out how to make a submission. Submissions close on Monday 6 January 2020. For more information contact the Strategic Planning Team on 5471 1700.

More information

About the Harcourt Framework Plan

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

It 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, as well as urban design and place-making initiatives to improve the function of the town centre.

The Harcourt Framework Plan has been developed by Council’s Strategic Planning team based on extensive consultation with the community, and with the support of technical advisors in issues such as bushfire risk, urban design and place activation.

About Shine Harcourt Leanganook

Shine Harcourt Leanganook is a Council and community led plan which identifies opportunities for economic activity in the town while leveraging local partnership networks, existing business and nature assets.

The economic stimulus project was led by the Economy and Culture unit in collaboration with Hello City and the Shine Harcourt Partnership, which is made up of representatives from local community organisations, businesses and government.

Shine Harcourt defines five ambitions for Harcourt based on story, collaboration, growth, country and food. The five ambitions form the basis of an economic vision for Harcourt’s future. They were inspired by more than 1,000 ideas developed at a community event in May, which were fed through a lab where experts from around the region tested them for suitability and sustainability.

The project was co-funded by Council and the Federal Government.

Image: Harcourt General Store.

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