Response to Advertiser front page story
San Remo Draft Access Strategy
Due to a technical problem at the newspaper, Council's comments on the front page story of Phillip Island & San Remo Advertiser (6./3/2013) were not included in this week's paper. This response is from Hannah Duncan-Jones, Planning and Environment Director.
We appreciate that residents of San Remo are very interested in future development in their area and the proposals included in the Draft Access Strategy. We certainly welcome their input and hope that everyone can come to the workshops in a spirit of consultation not anger, and work towards constructive dialogue.
It is very important to remember that this is a draft document and Council has not made any decision. The purpose of the Access Strategy is to create a vision for traffic (buses, cars and bikes) and pedestrian movement around San Remo. It needs to take future growth and the needs of the entire community into consideration.
The Draft Access Strategy does not provide detailed solutions or drawings, but it does identify the need to explore ways to connect and integrate the township. The draft does not propose to ‘bulldoze’ a road through properties, the school and kindergarten. We appreciate that some residents have very strong opinions and feelings about what should happen in their town, but these kinds of assertions are both misleading and mischievous.
As San Remo grows, more houses will mean more people, more cars, more bikes. The town is constrained by its geography. Given the amount of pressure already on the Phillip Island Tourist Road, any strategy has to address alternative ways to access services and shops, so that San Remo is a liveable space for all residents.
The brief given to the consultants was developed in consultation with community representatives. At a meeting held with a working group of four community reps, it was agreed that the Draft Access Strategy needed to go out to the broader public for input and this is the stage we are at now.
The development of the Draft Access Strategy is an opportunity for the new Council to listen, consider and act on all the information that will be collected as part of the community consultation phase, to ensure the right outcome for the whole community of San Remo can be achieved. The Councillors are committed to undertaking sound strategic planning work, and acknowledge that this can be very difficult.
Once the strategy is finalised, any project identified in it would have its own planning and consultation phases, which the community would also have input into. This is really just one step in a long consultation process. We really encourage everyone to come to the workshops so the views of all members of the San Remo community are considered in the development of the strategy.
Development of this strategy was a commitment from the former Council in response to recommendations from Planning Panels Victoria and community concerns.
At a meeting held with a working group of four community reps, it was agreed that the Draft Access Strategy needed to go out to the broader public for input and this is the stage we are at now