Work underway to identify significant landscapes in Big Hill and Mandurang Valley

Media release

The City of Greater Bendigo is inviting public feedback as it undertakes additional work to identify significant landscapes in the Big Hill and Mandurang Valley areas, and potentially recognise these areas in the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme.

This work aligns with an action within the Greater Bendigo Council Plan (Mir wimbul) 2021-2025 to scope a gateway study for Big Hill and Mandurang Valley landscape preservation.

Manager Strategic Planning Anthony Petherbridge said this study would build on the previous landscape assessment work undertaken for the area in 2013.

“The recommendations from the first assessment were ultimately proposed as part of a Planning Scheme Amendment C217 to apply two Significant Landscape Overlays (SLO3 and SLO4) to protect these landscapes,” Mr Petherbridge said.

“The application of these overlays were aligned with the character areas which at the time were deemed to be the most significant.

“This Amendment was not supported through an independent panel hearing, with particular concerns related to the proposed overlay boundaries.

“Much of the original landscape assessment work remains valuable.

“This new study aims to build on the significant work already done and address the gaps and issues identified in the panel report, including a detailed landscape analysis.” 

The study area runs from Harcourt North in the South up to parts of Strathdale in the north and across to Ravenswood and Lockwood South in the west. It has been extended for this assessment.

Fieldwork is being carried out as part of the study to document key views. The results of this assessment are part of a broader analysis of particular viewpoints and viewing corridors across or towards identified significant landscapes and features in the Big Hill and Mandurang Valley areas. 

“This will help to inform future management of the project study area, as well as the potential introduction of planning scheme overlays,” Mr Petherbridge said.

A key part of the previous community consultation was to understand the community landscape values from people who live, work or visit the area and to establish community values from a broad cross-section of people who have extensive knowledge and experience and connection to the landscapes.

As the study is underway, the community is invited to complete a short survey on the City’s online engagement platform so the City can update these community values and ensure those captured last time are still relevant.

People value landscapes for many reasons such as scenery and outdoors, wildlife and biodiversity, history and cultural heritage, recreation and activities, agriculture, productivity and economic return.

These values will help to inform recommendations towards the final report.

Once the report is completed, the recommendations will be presented to Council for consideration, and next steps will be determined.

Big Hill