Whipstick meeting to discuss draft strategy

WHIPSTICK ward residents will have a chance to contribute to the planning of their suburb at a meeting on Monday night.

City of Greater Bendigo's monthly Whipstick Ward meeting will be at Epsom Huntly Sports Complex from 7pm.

Ward councillor Peter Cox said councillors would explain a draft residential strategy for the City of Greater Bendigo and seek feedback from residents.

The strategy aims to reduce the Urban Growth Boundary during the next 20 years.

"That’s a major change in relation to working towards much more infill rather than expanding the boundary," Cr Cox said.

He said infill included subdividing large blocks into multiple smaller blocks and redeveloping existing properties that used land inefficiently.

"There are not enough smaller homes and with the aging population, people won't need a house as big as they did 20 or 30 years ago," Cr Cox said.

"It's about a different lifestyle close to public transport and community facilities, shops, etc.

"It's not to say we won’t be any new three or four-bedroom houses. We need a better diversity of housing."

Cr Cox said neighbourhood character and amenity were key issues which needed addressing.

"It is important that residents contribute a range of views so the final strategy is comprehensive and addresses current issues," he said.

Meeting attendees  will also discuss the development of a community plan for Epsom, which is separate from the residential strategy.

Cr Cox said residents who had been campaigning  for a plan would attend the meeting.

"Epsom is quite a different suburb," Cr Cox said.

"Eaglehawk has lots of community facilities because it's been established for a long time.

"Perhaps Epsom itself needs more community facilities.

"The last thing we want to do is build lots of homes in a place that has no community facilities and that needs discussing."

Cr Cox said other important issues were a flood study that the council and North Central Catchment Management Authority had been working on and a controversial proposed development of 18 units in Howard Street, Epsom – a property prone to flooding.

Topics up for discussion also include a revamped public transport service for the northern suburbs, a potential green waste pick-up service and the council's 2014-2015 budget. 

"It's just so important that people get involved and put their points of view forward," Cr Cox said.

"Ward meetings give us an opportunity to report back about what's happening and they give residents the opportunity to voice their concerns. I think people really appreciate them."

 The Whipstick Ward includes Drummartin, Elmore, Kamarooka, Avonmore, Goornong, Neilborough, Bagshot, Huntly, Fosterville, Wellsford, Epsom, Ascot, Eaglehawk, Bendigo, East Bendigo and North Bendigo.

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