Winchelsea’s historic village character and country charm will be further protected and enhanced following Council’s adoption of Planning Scheme Amendment C134, which implements the Winchelsea Town Centre and Highway Design Guidelines.
The guidelines, adopted in 2019 following much community consultation, aim to preserve the look and feel that locals love about the town and encourage a pedestrian-friendly built environment that honours its setting on the banks of the Barwon River.
The guidelines are focused on all commercial one zoned land in Winchelsea and residential land bordering the highway, forming the entry to the town.
The amendment gives the guidelines statutory weight in the planning scheme to enable them to be considered when planning permit applications are received.
Community members were able to provide feedback on the amendment when it was placed on public exhibition late last year. During this time, three submissions were received, all of which have now been resolved.
Cr Adrian Schonfelder said the amendment represented good planning practice.
“The amendment aims to stimulate the town as a tourist destination with a distinctive historic charm, and celebrate the picturesque setting on the Barwon River,” he said.
“Through the Council Plan consultation, many community members said they wanted a small town feel in the various settlements within the shire, and I believe that’s something we’re retaining.”
Cr Heather Wellington said Winchelsea’s unique townscape must be protected.
“It’s one of the most charming towns in the shire thanks to the height of the buildings, the size of the blocks, the character of the buildings and the setbacks from the roads. There’s a range of things that contribute to making it beautiful.”
“It’s been a thorough consultation and it’s pleasing we’ve been able to resolve all outstanding issues including those related to the future needs of Hesse Rural Health.”
Council will now submit amendment C134 to the Minister for Planning for approval.