Feedback wanted on key landscapes

November 15, 2023 BY

The great outdoors: Community feedback is being sought on landscapes in Big Hill and Mandurang Valley areas. Photo: GOOGLE EARTH

CITY of Greater Bendigo staff are looking for community input as they aim to identify landscapes in the Big Hill and Mandurang Valley areas which may become areas of the municipal planning scheme.

The Greater Bendigo Council Plan, also known as Mir wimbul, 2021-2025 identified a need to begin a study of Big Hill and Mandurang Valley regions to preserve the landscape.

This study will seek to build on what was discovered by work conducted in 2013.

“The recommendations from the first assessment were ultimately proposed as part of a Planning Scheme Amendment C217 to apply two significant landscape overlays to protect these landscapes,” said municipal manager of strategic planning Anthony Petherbridge.

“The application of these overlays were aligned with the character areas which at the time were deemed to be the most significant.”

In the end that amendment was not supported with concerns over the proposed boundaries, however, Mr Petherbridge said the work is still useful.

“This new study aims to build on the significant work already done and address the gaps and issues identified in the panel report, including a detailed landscape analysis,” he said.

The study area has been extended as part of the current assessment and includes Harcourt North, parts of Strathdale, and Ravenswood and Lockwood South.

Fieldwork is currently being conducted and the results of the assessment will make up a larger analysis of important landscapes and features in the Big Hill and Mandurang Valley areas.

“This will help to inform future management of the project study area, as well as the potential introduction of planning scheme overlays,” Mr Petherbridge said.

The previous study included community consultation which was conducted to understand the landscape values of people in the area.

In order to update those findings, the community is being asked to complete a survey on the Let’s Talk Greater Bendigo.

The aim is to discover how people value these landscapes, whether it be for scenery and outdoors, wildlife and biodiversity, history and cultural heritage, recreation and activities, agriculture, productivity or economic return.

The survey is now open and closes on Friday 8 December.