By Callum Ludwig
Yarra Ranges Council has issued a progress update on the Warburton Urban Design Framework (WUDF) ahead of the highly-anticipated decision that was deferred to Tuesday 26 March.
On 18 January, the Shaping Yarra Ranges page was updated to include answers to additional frequently asked questions, links between Warburton UDF and Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo (Yarra Strategic Plan) and engagement reports.
A Yarra Ranges Council spokesperson said initial community engagement for the WUDF was undertaken from 16 December 2022 to 12 March 2023.
“The Warburton UDF has been developed based on detailed community input into the earlier 2019 Warburton Place Plan,” they said.
“From this, the UDF proposes improvements to things like infrastructure, public space, streetscapes and movement, with the intent to protect the character while planning for increasing demands. It includes design concepts and visual examples of how the town may look in the future.”
The WUDF attracted some backlash from the community at the November 2023 where it was discussed, particularly regarding a perceived lack of consultation with the Warburton Tennis Club which potentially faced relocation of their courts from the historic clubroom.
As a result, the councillors’ decision was deferred and the Council requested some additional targeted feedback, with Council officers having since met with the Warburton Tennis Club and the following groups:
Warburton Recreation Reserve clubs
Upper Yarra River Reserve Committee of Management
Warburton Emergency Planning Group (scheduled)
Warburton Water Wheel
ADRA / Redwood Centre
Upper Yarra Sustainable Development Alliance
Offers have also been made to Warburton Advancement League and Warburton Valley CEDA.
The Yarra Ranges Council spokesperson said the most recent targeted discussions have also been very constructive and useful to the project.
“Council have invited feedback from the Warburton community, and were very pleased at the extent of engagement and participation in the discussions and number of submissions to the project,” they said.
“As these are long-term aspirational plans it is important that there is community involvement in forming what they look like.”
Warburton residents organised an independent community meeting on Tuesday 6 February to discuss the framework at length.
In the updated FAQs, the answer to ‘What consultation is happening in early 2024?’ states that councillors will briefed on the feedback and findings, and if one of them intends to propose a change to the 28 November version of the WUDF, they will need to propose an Alternate Motion detailing the changes which would need to be supported by a majority of Councillors through a vote.