A detailed vision of Wagga Wagga’s growth and development in the next 20 years is now open for community feedback and ideas to guide the long-term future of the city and its villages.
Wagga Wagga City Council endorsed the draft Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) to go on public exhibition and receive submissions for 42 days at its 26 October Ordinary Council Meeting.
Council Director Regional Activation Michael Keys said the document, a legislative requirement of the State Government, is one of the most important planning strategies to drive growth, investment and promote liveability across the Local Government Area (LGA).
He said the plan details how land-use changes will be managed into the future. It will provide a basis for rezoning decisions and inform the review of planning controls across the whole LGA, guiding development outcomes.
“This is Council’s vision for Wagga Wagga and our villages heading towards 2040,” Mr Keys said.
“Important criteria is addressed - what the city and surrounds will look like in another two decades, how and where it will grow and what we need to cater for a growing and changing population.
“We also focus on how to protect key business and industry to secure employment opportunities and continued investment and expansion of these key employers. ”
Mr Keys said the development of the statement is a State Government directive aimed at putting more emphasis on strategic planning for the future.
“It makes sense … we need to have a long-term vision to plan infrastructure, to support growth and pay for it in a sustainable manner,” Mr Keys said.
“We also need to protect the environment, our priority is to retain key environmental features and balance this with development. This recognises the importance our community and future generations have for our natural areas. ”
Mr Keys said heritage and conservation areas in central Wagga are also of high interest and managing change in these areas and with regard character items is an ongoing area for discussion and consideration. “We’re looking at where it’s appropriate for more development, new areas currently not developed and what shape should that take and how do we cater for a changing population?,” he said.
“How do we bring more people in to the city to create more activity so businesses can grow and thrive, but also focus on our residents, new and existing, and how they access services?”
Mr Keys said it was important for the whole community to understand the planning statement and provide input into how it is shaped to help develop a future that meets their needs and expectations.
“We want to hear the community’s ideas, thoughts and feedback on what we’re proposing … they are a very valuable part of the process,” he said.
“This is about how Wagga Wagga and our villages will look like in 20 years’ time … how we shape the city, where does new development go where do we want more apartments and what’s the right mix. How do we get new activity in and around the CBD and where are the jobs going to be.
“We want to make sure people understand that, and we also want to hear about what they think … so if people want to have a say in how we take the city forward, then please speak with us and tell us your thoughts.”
Community members can view the planning statement at connect.wagga.nsw.gov.au and will also have the chance to discuss it at various community engagement workshops and sessions.
Submissions from the community will close on 12 December 2020 and be considered before any changes made to the draft so that the LSPS can go back to Council for approval.
This is the first LSPS for Wagga Wagga under the present legislative arrangements. Reviews and updates will occur alongside the review and adoption of the Community Strategic Plan every four years.