Wingecarribee Shire Council has announced it will invest $1.36 million in partnership with the State and Federal Governments to develop a future-focused Strategic Outcomes Works Program to provide a planning framework for positive growth.
Council says the program will guide planning and budgeting for the essential infrastructure required to meet the future needs of the Shire’s growing community.
“Together, we are making a substantial investment in providing future certainty for the Wingecarribee community by establishing a strong, evidence-based strategic framework,” says WSC Administrator, Viv May.
The program details priority planning projects for the purpose of addressing shortcomings in the existing framework, which will ultimately inform a thorough review of our Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plans (DCP’s), Mr May said.
He said more than $600,000 has so far been secured to supplement Council’s contribution toward fast-tracking key projects.
“We are looking toward unlocking regionally significant employment lands and economic development for the Southern Highlands, addressing the housing supply and diversity needed to accommodate that growth, and planning ahead for the increased infrastructure capacity needed,” Mr May said.
Among priority projects, Phase 1 of Southern Highlands Innovation Park Master Plan process has been completed and $270,000 in NSW Government Business Case and Strategy Development funding has been secured toward phase 2.
“This is potentially a major employment and economic driver if we optimise the precinct, strategically located for Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong, and the new Western Sydney Airport and Aerotropolis,” said Mr May.
“So that we continue to manage growth in accordance with the values and expectations of our community, Council has proposed an addendum to our Local Housing Strategy, taking into account the latest forecasts of escalation in population growth and informed by the soon-to-be-released NSW DPE Regional Plan.”
Draft Low Density Housing Controls have recently been endorsed for public exhibition, with consultation to commence shortly.
Among six new living areas identified in the strategy, 1500+ new dwellings are planned for the South-East of Bowral township, with $250,000 in Regional Housing Strategic Planning grant funding will help to expediate its release.
“This will ensure the capacity of our infrastructure networks is expanded in a planned and efficient way, consistent with residential growth,” said Mr May.
He said Master Plans are in development for the main centres of Bowral, Mittagong and Moss Vale to provide clear vision and strategic direction for new development in a way that retains the identity of each precinct, while collectively forming a cluster that is the economic, cultural and social heart of the Shire.
Council has also committed to co-designing an Integrated Transport Strategy to guide decision-making that will make all modes of transport more convenient, safer and sustainable for the Shire over the next 20 years.
“All of these undertakings will take shape through extensive consultation and collaboration with local industry and community, in order to reflect the specific needs of the Wingecarribee community, now and into our future,” Mr May said.