Changing the heart, reviving the region
Principle Plan Engagement Report
At the start of March 2013, we launched the LIVING CITY project, which provides long term solutions for the redevelopment of our City. We sought your response to the Principles Plan – the concept of creating three distinct and unique precincts within the Devonport CBD to ensure that Devonport is a vibrant and prosperous regional City heading towards the future. It has been an overwhelming experience for elected members and staff, and the response that we’ve received from the community has been exciting and positive. This process has us all thinking about what we want for our City and for our future generations, what is important to us as a community, and it has inspired many members of our community to provide solutions and suggestions to Council that will help shape our future as a City. LIVING CITY: Changing the heart,
reviving the region is a journey that we must go on together. We’re committed to keeping you informed and involved throughout this project, and there will be plenty of opportunities for our community to have their say on future plans. This report will summarise the many responses we received to the Community and Youth surveys, and the comments and suggestions we received via email, online and at our Listening Posts. A full report went to Council in May, where your elected members voted on the next phase of LIVING CITY. Thank you to all our residents and to those members of our community who live outside the municipality, for taking the time to let us know what you think of LIVING CITY.
Ald Steve Martin, Mayor of the City of Devonport
Community Consultation In January 2013, Council engaged with key stakeholder groups in an effort to gather vital information on the issues faced by retailers in the CBD. This consultation included workshops with members of the Devonport Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the specialist sub retail committee, as well as members of the Devonport City Focus Group. The information gathered through this process supported the development of the Principles Plan which was launched to the public in early March. Following the launch of LIVING CITY, Council actively engaged the community to seek their opinion on the Principles Plan aimed at creating a vibrant and connected City. Community consultation has included a range of methods including open house sessions, listening posts and a Community Survey. Members of the community embraced the opportunity to engage with Council and we have gathered invaluable information to help inform future decisions in relation to shaping our City. This has been the largest community engagement program undertaken by Council generating by far the greatest response from the public. We received over 1,000 survey responses, including our young people. The number of responses provided us with a high level of confidence in the result. Council also received numerous written submissions from members of the public via email, Facebook and through the mail, held hundreds of conversations with people and analysed over 1,000 comments.
The Principle Plan Community engagement was focussed on seeking endorsement on the Principles Plan.
The key principles which underpin the plan are: • Connection of our existing retail areas in the CBD; • Connection of the City to the Mersey River and parklands; • Improved access and connection for pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the City; and • Connection of the City with the wider region. The online survey asked five key questions in relation to the Principles Plan and the results can be seen in Figure 1.
Overwhelmingly, you supported the concepts included in the Principles Plan.
Whatâ€™s holding us back? We also asked you what is holding Devonport back from becoming a world-class regional area. We grouped the categories into the key themes and the results can be seen in Figure 2. This information will help guide Council when looking at issues now and will help inform our decisions not only in relation to this project but in all Council operations.
Open House An open house is a form of community meeting aimed at providing information on key projects and issues to an invited audience. Community members, residents and business owners/operators in the proposed precinct areas were invited to open house sessions, held over two days, at the Devonport Entertainment & Convention Centre prior to the official launch of LIVING CITY.
“I am certain Devonport needs further development of the CBD into a more concentrated and easy accessable area.”
“This really is an excellent initiative that shows vision and forward planning. Devonport and the region has enormous potential just waiting to be realised.” “Thank goodness, finally there is a real vision for this wonderful town.”
“Four hour parking is needed, or upgrade to PAYL.” “Enhance the appearance of Rooke Lane; it would be the perfect spot for a market.”
Listening Posts A listening post is a method of engaging individuals through targeted discussions with interviewers. Listening Posts were set up in the Rooke Street Mall, Fourways, East Devonport (Wright Street), Spreyton IGA, Taste the Harvest and Sheffield. Some of the feedback we received from residents included:
“I would like to see more done with the esplanade walk from city centre around to the beach/ Bluff area. The gardens, walkways, benches and facilities need to be upgraded to a standard similar to areas in larger regional cities where those areas are used by people.” “Continue with the streetscape design from Stewart Street throughout CBD to create a visually appealing and themed Devonport that shows a progressive, aesthetically pleasing, corporate and consistent streetscape for the CBD as a whole. We need to support our own regional economy, and that means supporting all of our local businesses, not just retailers.” “I think that this is an opportunity for Devonport to stamp its mark as a place for people to come to shop, dine and be entertained. If you can do that, then you will attract more investors, business functions and events.” 7
During the engagement process, key issues emerged from the community, each containing a number of subissues. These issues have been individually analysed, categorised, and will inform future planning and futher consultation with the community. The two primary issues identified were parking and the current state of retailing in Devonport. The secondary issues identified were; • Tourism; • Traffic and pedestrian links; • Public transport; • Future public infrastructure and location of future public infrastructure; • Lack of employment opportunities; • Cost and opportunity for input. 9
LIVING CITY is about creating a vibrant, prosperous City for our future generations to enjoy.
Comments from our youth: “Devonport is a nice town, but maybe if we slowly start to expand the area of it, it would be better, and if new businesses come to Tasmania, then more people could stay in Devonport and it would grow more as a community.” “It’s a great idea to redevelop Devonport. Thank you.”
“I think that the plans for Devonport sound absolutely fantastic! They make me consider staying in Devonport instead of moving interstate.”
“There aren’t enough opportunities for young people to get involved in, eg. youth mentoring, voulenteering or youth groups.” “Please focus on creating a vibrant and fun community along the waterfront.” “Disconnection between places around town. If you have no reason to be there, you don’t go. Not really appealing.” 10
Project Taskforce â€“ LIVING CITY Taskforce established in 2012 for the life of the project - have responsibility for strategic oversight of the holistic framework for the CBD rejuvenation. The task force members are recognised and highly respected local and state champions representing key industries including small and large business, construction, industry sectors and community. Chaired by Royce Fairbrother, the task force will demonstrate experienced and efficient governance, high profiled and influential leadership, strategic input, advice and recommendations to Council.
There are so many empty shops in the CBD, why do we need more? We recognise the downturn; however, we also know that there will be a demand in the future for additional retail space and we want to be prepared for that. LIVING CITY will facilitate the space in the CBD, consolidating the heart of the City. How much will this cost? The project will obviously require Government funding for public infrastructure, however the majority of development will be reliant on private investment. LIVING CITY will be a strategic approach to attract and leverage private and public investment. How will we afford it, will rates go up? Extra rates income will be generated from new development; we do not see this project as increasing rates. Council adopted a ten year financial plan to ensure sustainability; any commitment of funds will be measured against the financial plan to ensure sustainability. Big W are going to Don, aren’t they? Woolworths have advised that the Big W development at Don Road is officially on hold at present. LIVING CITY is about providing
opportunities for national retailers like Big W, to consider the CBD as an option. How does the Devonport City Council know that this is what is needed? In preparing the LIVING CITY principles a comprehensive study of the current social, economic and infrastructure needs has been undertaken. Previous planning and studies have been analysed and current trends reviewed. However we want your view on whether we have got it right or not. We don’t want to crowd the waterfront with buildings, will the lovely parkland remain? We are very mindful that any development on the waterfront must enhance and not detract from the existing beauty of the area. Any design will include large public spaces and grassed areas connecting the existing park land into the City’s heart. Where to from here? Consultation with the community before finalisation of the Master Plan including an implementation program outlining key initiatives and their timelines.
Working together to achieve the vision
LIVING CITY – Stages and Timing Stage 1 – Inception – Early 2012 to March 2013
Review previous work.
Analyse existing physical constraints, trends and opportunities.
CBD Stakeholder consultation.
Stage 2 – Principle Plan/Structure of Future CBD – March to May 2013
Establish key principles to define future structure of CBD.
Community and stakeholder consultation.
Council endorse Principle Plan based on consultation outcomes.
Stage 3 – Precinct Master Plans – June 2013 to Late 2014
Develop Master Plans for key precincts based on principles.
Commence securing and demolition of strategic properties.
Identify potential public and private investors.
Secure government funding and support.
Stage 4 – Staged Implementation – 2015 and Beyond
Finalise statutory planning, contractual agreements and detailed design.
Development of precincts progressively over 5 to 10 year period as determined by funding, private investment and economic capacity.
Key Action Steps to be undertaken over the next 12 months The adoption of the Principles Plan ends Stage 2 of the project, and heralds the beginning of Stage 3 of LIVING CITY. This Stage involves the development of Master Plans for the key precincts and encompasses: • Design analysis of the precincts; • Ideas, opportunities and feedback to inform Council’s Annual Plan & Budget Estimates; • Ideas, opportunities and input by the community will inform draft Master Planning; • Securing and demolition of key strategic properties; • Negotiations with potential private investors; • Securing government funding and support; • Commencing the statutory approvals process; and • Consultation with the community on draft Master Plans. This stage is expected to run until the end of 2014 and will include further community consultation in relation to the proposed Master Plans.
You can find a copy of all the survey results on www.speakupdevonport.com.au/living-city and on the Devonport City Council website: www.devonport.gov.tas.au/living-city A copy of the Council report, which summarises the results and comments recieved throughout the process, can also be found online, or is available in hard copy from Councilâ€™s Customer Services. We have been overwhelmed by the number of people who took the time to engage with us throughout the consultation process and thank you again for your contribution to the future of our City.