Latest news - UDF adopted by South Gippsland Shire Council


In a major win for the community and the environment, the South Gippsland Shire Council voted to adopt the revised Urban Design Framework at the council meeting on Wednesday 18th October 2006.

The UDF clearly states the Evergreen farm is not suitable for development and should remain classified as rural. This is in stark contrast to the draft report which nominated areas of Evergreen as being suitable for development. It is pleasing to note the consultants have taken into account the environmental and cultural issues reported by the local community and environmental groups in their submissions.

However whilst developers continue to see Evergreen as a potential source of income the battle continues.


What is an Urban Design Framework?


The South Gippsland Shire contracted Connell Wagner to prepare the an Urban Design Framework for Venus Bay and Tarwin Lower. Connel Wagner's 'Planning to Meet Our Needs' newsletter states...

'An Urban Design Framework (UDF) is a strategic planning document, prepared with input from the local community that presents a vision and future framework for the development of a town. The UDFs for the coastal towns in South Gippsland will:


: Identify the capacity of each town in relation to its environment and capacity to sustain growth;

: Direct and manage development and infrastructure pressures into defined settlement areas;

: Develop broad planning principles for areas between defined settlements: and

: Implement a coordinated planning and design approach across the region'

Brief history

January 2005 - Connell Wagner undertake a community consultation process into which all parties with an interest in the Venus Bay peninsula were invited to participate

Clear message from the workshops and subsequent submissions was 'no development on Evergreen'

January 2006 - Draft UDF released, siting Evergreen as a site to be considered for potential development

Community outraged, with many submitting their concerns in writing to Connell Wagner

September 2006 - Connell Wagner take community concerns on board and release a revised UDF which now clearly state Evergreen is not suitable for development

September 2006 - In a shock move the South Gippsland Shire Council rejects the motion to adopt the UDF (voting 1 to 6 with 2 councillors absent)

Community astounded by the council's decision, expresses concerns in writing to councillors and the local media

October 2006 - Council adopts the UDF (voting 6 to 3)

Draft UDF

Twelve months after the community consultation sessions the public were finally granted access to Version 7 of the draft UDF in January 2006.

The most detailed of the numerous written submissions expressing concern with the draft document was that prepared by Beverley and Ken Walker who gave permission for it to be published on our site.

Fortunately the dramas surrounding the draft UDF are long behind us, however we have retained a copy of Beverley and Ken's response as it explains in detail why we must remain diligent in our efforts to ensure Evergreen is never again threatened with inappropriate development.

Click here to view the response to the draft UDF.

Revised UDF

We are delighted Connell Wagner agreed with the community's environmental and cultural concerns in relation to Evergreen and adusted the UDF accordingly. However, the document continues to overlook the new sewage treatments; instead making repeated reference to reticulated sewerage. In the same way we had to educate authorities and developers about the presence of acid sulfate soil, it appears we need to show them their are better alternatives to reticulated sewerage for Venus Bay.

The UDF documents have been published on the South Gippsland Shire Council web site and can be accessed by clicking here.

Urban Design Framework (UDF)