Bundaberg Regional Council’s Burnett Heads Town Centre Local Plan has been recognised for planning excellence, receiving the Wendy Chadwick Encouragement Award.
It was announced on Friday evening at the Planning Institute of Australia Queensland Awards for Planning Excellence 2020.
In making its comments about the award, the judging panel said the Burnett Heads Town Centre Local Plan was a worthy recipient because it demonstrated an “excellent example of real local planning”.
“The Bundaberg Regional Council team responded to the local community’s desire to improve their local town centre and used placemaking, land-use planning and infrastructure planning to improve the streetscape and stimulate the local economy,” the judges said.
“Working closely with the local community over a longer period created a clear understanding of key issues and opportunities and involved the community in the development and implementation of the Plan.
“The planning process provided a catalyst to upgrade wastewater infrastructure and the local memorial, establishing the centre as a destination for regional tourism resulting in substantial community benefits.
“The project shows that small planning projects can bring significant improvements to local communities without a big budget, using council’s planning resources while working collaboratively with the community.”
Council’s Development Group Manager Michael Ellery said the Burnett Heads Town Centre Local Plan was adopted in 2017 to guide future decisions about servicing and planning in the area.
“The adoption of local plans allows Council to approach development decisions with the characters of a particular area in mind,” Mr Ellery said.
“This is particularly important in areas like Burnett Heads which is a thriving coastal community with immense potential for growth.
“The dedicated Burnett Heads Town Centre Plan allows development to move forward while maintaining the character and environmental values of this area.
“It also facilitated the streetscape redevelopment which was a collaborative effort between Council and the local community, made possible with the support and understanding of businesses impacted by the works.
“The result is a vibrant and welcoming space that respects the area’s heritage while modernising the CBD.”
Planning outcomes of the Burnett Heads Town Centre Plan have been incorporated into the planning scheme, including outcomes for development of the Burnett Heads Boat Harbour and building height and design requirements in the Burnett Heads town centre.