Friday, June 21, 2024

Victor Harbor adopts The Bluff master plan

A plan that sets out to protect, conserve and enhance The Bluff has been adopted by the City of Victor Harbor Council.

Council says the Plan was developed in collaboration with community over the past 18 months and recognises the iconic site’s significant environmental, cultural, heritage and recreational value, while also setting out a number of principles to guide all activities within The Bluff Reserve.

It is intended to be a long-term document that will be rolled out over a 20+ year period based on Council’s annual budgeting process, availability of grant funds and prioritisation of projects.

The master plan focuses on making trails safer, providing more seating, defined spaces for contemplation and to take in the magnificent views, exploring opportunities to share cultural stories and narrative, and increasing vegetation.

Some of the key future actions within the master plan include:

  • realignment of the entrance to The Bluff Reserve from Jagger Road to provide safer entry/exit point;
  • activation of Oyster Reserve as a trailhead and entrance into The Bluff Reserve;
  • improving Bluff Jetty Road by providing turnaround areas and car parking;
  • closing unsanctioned and ad hoc trails to help regenerate areas and support biodiversity and habitat creation;
  • elements that highlight the cultural importance of the area including dedicated cultural trail, yarning circle and using landscape treatments to share stories;
  • improved lookout areas.

Mayor, Moira Jenkins, said that during the development of the master plan there were many suggestions from community that The Bluff should be “left alone”.

“Through this master planning process we have learnt that doing nothing is not quite the same as working towards the preservation and protection of existing character, heritage and site qualities,” said Mayor Jenkins.

“In collaboration with community we have been able to articulate a shared vision for The Bluff that protects the things we most value while also looking at areas we can enhance. The principles look to limit development while implementing a number of enhancements that are sympathetic to the natural environment.”

She said the development of the master plan was led by placemaking and landscape architecture firm, Hatch Design, who were highly praised for their engagement approach which centred around conversations with community and stakeholders.

“Conversations were not just about making decisions; but rather allowing each voice the space to be heard and respected,” said Hatch Design Director, Corey Brown.

“Through the exchange of handwritten stories, First Nation’s knowledge, and shared experiences, both country and community were able to influence, inform, and influence situations into preferred outcomes.

“The comprehensive plan promotes a sense of belonging, guardianship and strengthening of cultural and community identity. It sets out a shared vision for the future that embraces the uniqueness of place while setting out a shared responsibility for the future.”

Mayor Jenkins said The Bluff Master Plan project is an example of what Council and community can achieve together.

“The development of The Bluff Master Plan has been a true collaboration with our community and stakeholders who have an interest in the site. We thank everyone who took the time to contribute to the project by sharing their stories of The Bluff, commenting on the draft master plan or attending one of our drop-in sessions.”

“We are extremely proud of the final plan and look forward to seeing it begin being rolled out over the coming years,” she said. An allocation of $100,000 has been included within the 2023/24 Annual Business Plan to commence work on a project from the master plan. It is anticipated this will involve the accessible viewing platform and rest stop that overlooks Petrel Cove from the top car park, as outlined in the artist impression (pictured).

The Bluff Master Plan can be viewed online at www.yoursay.victor.sa.gov.au/thebluff.

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