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Birregurra Neighbourhood Character Study and Structure Plan Review

An award winning project that turned community concern into positive community engagement.

In 2011, hansen partnership was engaged by Colac Otway Shire Council to prepare a neighbourhood character study for the picturesque township of Birregurra, after a draft structure plan prepared in 2010 generated significant community concern.

The purpose of the study was to identify the potential to accommodate additional residential infill development within the existing urban boundaries of Birregurra. It was anticipated that the Birregurra Neighbourhood Character Study would go on to inform the finalisation of the structure plan and address the question of whether or not the town boundary needed to be expanded to accommodate potential future growth.

The most critical element of the study’s objectives was resolving the high level of community concern that arose from the 2010 draft structure plan. In response, a community engagement process was undertaken directly involving the community. This approach proved a success, particularly in re-establishing the community’s trust in Council.

As a result of the positive feedback the neighbourhood character study generated within the community, Council appointed hansen to review and finalise the structure plan.

The success of our approach and results on this unique project was further illustrated by the project being awarded a Commendation in the Hard Won Victory category of the 2013 PIA Victorian Planning Excellence Awards.

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