The proposal for a ‘village green’ in the alpine village of Dinner Plain would have seen almost 2 hectares of snow gum woodland cleared and significant visual impacts on the village. After a long consultation and planning process, the Alpine Council needs to take a final decision on whether to proceed with the development.
In a welcome move, Council Officers who have been assessing the concept report that there is ‘not majority community support for this project’ and recommend that it should not proceed. Council will take a final decision at a meeting on Monday December 18.
In August and September this year, Council invited all Dinner Plain ratepayers to comment on the Village Green project proposal and to ‘have your say’ on whether you thought Council should continue to invest in and progress this project. Council thanks the community for their input into this process. Over 30% of ratepayers participated in the survey, which is a very high participation rate.
The results of the community engagement process indicate that the Dinner Plain community is divided on the Village Green proposal, and that there is not majority community support for this project.
The below outlines a summary of results however, we recommend reading the ‘Dinner Plain Village Green Project’ for full details.
Community engagement results
• 138 ratepayers and 17 non-ratepayers responded to the survey. Email submissions were also received.
• 50% of respondents (54% of ratepayers) said the Village Green was important to them, 48% (44% of ratepayers) said it wasn’t important to them and 2% were unsure.
• 47% of respondents (51% of ratepayers) said the Village Green would benefit the Dinner Plain community, 43% (37% of ratepayers) said it would not and 10% (12% of ratepayers) were unsure.
• When asked what aspects of the project people were not happy with, 74% responded ‘other’, 56% responded that the project cost too much, 53% felt the environmental impacts were unacceptable and 48% responded that the visual impacts of the project were unacceptable.
• The response ‘other’ included comments from project supporters, alternative ideas (such as make it bigger, as well as, make it smaller), concerns about the cost benefit of the project, that the project doesn’t suit the purpose, that it is an unnecessary project and concerns regarding the environmental impacts of the project.
The Village Green project faces a number of significant risks, largely surrounding the implications and costs of necessary native vegetation removal, potential cultural heritage value and a lack of interest from the private sector for the project.
The risks associated with proceeding with the project are significant and will require a considerable investment of additional time and expense to resolve, with no guarantee that the project will receive the approvals required to enable construction.
Based on the results of the community consultation and the risks to the project, Council Officers’ recommendation is that the Village Green project does not proceed. This recommendation will be presented to the Special Council Meeting on Monday, 18 December 2017 for a formal decision by Council.
Council will advise all Dinner Plain ratepayers of the outcomes of the recommendation, following the Special Council Meeting on Monday, 18 December 2017.
If Council accepts the recommendation not to proceed with the Village Green project, the remaining funds will enable the investigation and implementation of alternative projects at Dinner Plain.
Council is committed to delivering capital projects that achieve value for money and which are supported by a majority of Dinner Plain ratepayers. The recent community engagement process identified a number of alternative projects and priorities including improvements to toboggan runs and snow making, renewing the tennis court, improvements to the Scrubbers End precinct and recreation signage improvements.
In the event that the Village Green project does not proceed, Council will continue to investigate, in consultation with the community over the coming months, the priority for other capital works projects at Dinner Plain.