City brings four pro­jects to­gether

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Hor­sham plan­ning will move into a sig­nif­i­cant new phase dur­ing the next six months when mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers ex­plore ways of grow­ing the city’s so­cio-eco­nomic prospects.

Hor­sham Ru­ral City Coun­cil has launched a Trans­form­ing Hor­sham project, an um­brella con­cept cov­er­ing four ma­jor pro­jects.

The coun­cil has opened a con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod and is invit­ing peo­ple to have their say on the city’s Open Space Strat­egy as well as Hor­sham Ur­ban Trans­port Plan.

A Hor­sham South Struc­ture Plan and Wim­mera River and Cen­tral Ac­tiv­ity District Vi­sion­ing Project will also be open for pub­lic en­gage­ment in the com­ing weeks.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Su­nil Bhalla said the Trans­form­ing Hor­sham brand was de­signed to build the com­mu­nity’s un­der­stand­ing that the four strate­gic plans had the same pur­pose – to trans­form Hor­sham.

“Hav­ing four con­cur­rent pro­jects sit un­der one ban­ner helps us co-or­di­nate our strate­gic think­ing so that we can map out the best ver­sion for Hor­sham we can pos­si­bly imag­ine,” he said.

Mr Bhalla said Trans­form­ing Hor­sham would con­tinue the mo­men­tum of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion work com­pleted dur­ing the past five years.

“While we are open to new ideas, we are not ask­ing the same ques­tions again. Trans­form­ing Hor­sham will take us from the ‘how’ to ex­actly ‘what’ we need to do as a pri­or­ity,” he said.

“We will work with key stake­hold­ers to con­tinue the mo­men­tum cre­ated through the ex­ist­ing strate­gic work on the river and cen­tral Hor­sham, while also fill­ing gaps in the ar­eas of in­te­grated trans­port plan­ning and pub­lic open space.

“All ex­ist­ing ideas and knowl­edge will be brought to­gether and new ideas will be cap­tured.

“The re­sult­ing con­cept plans will pro­vide a clear vi­sion with ac­tion plans that will be used to se­cure pub­lic and pri­vate-sec­tor in­vest­ment to make the pro­jects hap­pen.”

The first stage of the river and cen­tral Hor­sham project has al­ready started, with the coun­cil work­ing with con­sul­tants on stake­holder en­gage­ment.

Tar­geted ac­tiv­i­ties have in­cluded work­shops with a range of com­mu­nity groups and agency rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Hor­sham mayor Mark Rad­ford said res­i­dents, user groups, busi­nesses and vis­i­tors needed to be ‘front and cen­tre’ in guid­ing the dis­cus­sion about what the fu­ture should hold.

“In mid-april we will be out and about to test com­mu­nity re­sponses to project con­cepts and we look for­ward to see­ing you there to give us your feed­back and hear­ing from you on­line,” he said.

“The coun­cil has the chal­leng­ing task of ac­com­mo­dat­ing growth and new de­vel­op­ment in the Wim­mera, while cre­at­ing mod­ern and suc­cess­ful precincts which im­prove and pro­tect the char­ac­ter of our lo­cal area.

“One way we can take on this chal­lenge and plan for the fu­ture is by hav­ing com­mu­nity-owned, long-term plans in place.

“This project re­ally is a part­ner­ship. It is with your help that we will be able to plan for the fu­ture.

“I in­vite all res­i­dents to par­tic­i­pate in all com­mu­nity en­gage­ment ac­tiv­i­ties across the four pro­jects to share their knowl­edge and ideas.”

Peo­ple can find out more on web­site www.hrcc.­cil/com­mu­nity-in­form ation/have-your-say/trans­form­ing-hor­sham.

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