Botanic entrances to Colac

Colac Otway Shire Council acting chief Jack Green says a new planning amendment will ensure Colac becomes a “botanic garden city”.

Colac Otway Shire Council acting chief Jack Green says a new planning amendment will ensure Colac becomes a “botanic garden city”.

COLAC’S entrances, including the former high school site to the west, have new planning rules to ensure development helps create a “botanic garden city” vision.

The eastern entrance to the city will retain its industrial areas but new development will “frame views of the lake”, with landscaping required at both entrances to “enhance the arrival experience”.

Building design in Colac’s central business district will be in keeping with neighbouring heritage buildings under new guidelines which also link the CBD with the botanic garden theme.

The State Government has approved the new planning amendment to the Colac Otway Shire Planning Scheme which includes recommendations from the Colac CBD and Entrances Project 2012.

The approved guidelines included minor changes made after a panel hearing considered submissions last year.

Shire council acting chief Jack Green said the new planning overlays were “really positive” for Colac.

“The amendment introduces a vision for the Colac CBD as a ‘botanic garden city’ that is pedestrian and cycling friendly,” he said.

“It introduces built-form controls via the design and development overlay, encourages renewal and protection of heritage buildings and scope for increased residential use in the CBD,” Mr Green said.

“The new overlay in the CBD does not significantly increase the requirements for planning permits, but it does provide strong guidance on the siting, height and design of new buildings.”

“The main aims of the overlay include opportunities to improve walkways and connectivity for pedestrians, improvements to streetscapes through better placement of shop fronts and car parking, landscaping and lighting.”

The council’s 20-year vision for the CBD plans for Colac to be “renowned for its collection of great buildings from all eras of the city’s development”.

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