Warburton UDF adopted following community feedback

Published on 27 March 2024

Exterior view of the Arts Centre from Warburton Highway

Following additional targeted consultation with key community groups in Warburton, Council has adopted the Warburton Urban Design Framework (UDF).

The additional consultation was committed to by Council in November 2023, and has resulted in proposals to further amend elements of the UDF that align with the community feedback, most notably retaining the tennis courts in their current location and reducing the parking provisions at the Redwood Centre. 

The UDF was adopted on at Council's 26 March meeting, with an alternate recommendation from O'Shannassy Ward Councillor, Jim Child.

The alternate recommendation included further detail about safety of traffic and vehicle movements.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Sophie Todorov, thanked the community for these constructive conversations and their considered feedback on the document draft. 

“We have an incredibly passionate and engaged community in the Upper Yarra, and this really came through when engaging on the Warburton Urban Design Framework,” Cr Todorov said. 

“The purpose of the UDF is to help us plan for the needs and future of Warburton over the next 10 to 20 years while protecting its valued character. We already know that visitation is increasing and will continue to do so. This is great for our local businesses, and can bring employment opportunities for locals, but we need to make sure we are ready and improve the way people move around town, from walking and cycling through to driving and parking. 

“It’s about delivering on the vision described in the Warburton Place Plan, in maintaining the rural town feeling of Warburton, while helping to solve the problems of more people visiting with more cars, so locals can live a little easier. 

“Over the life of this document, we’ve received hundreds of comments and submissions, post-it notes and hard copy surveys; local newspaper articles, fantastic attendance at drop-in sessions, and one of our most extensive engagement periods on any Council document to date. 

“We’ve recently undertaken additional targeted engagement with specific groups, to help us make sure we truly heard the community and understand their needs and concerns so we can get the details right. 

“For example, community feedback in this most recent round has resulted in proposed changes to the UDF which, subject to Council’s approval on 26 March, include retaining the tennis courts at their current location and reduced parking provisions at the Redwood Centre. 

“The end result is a document that has been subject to more than 335 written submissions, with more than 1800 comments assessed, which I think is fantastic. 

“All of the concepts in the UDF will be subject to their own planning process and further community engagement, so locals can continue to help us shape the community outcomes.” 

The report on the UDF – which was be published in the Council Agenda – follows Council’s 28 November meeting, where Councillors deferred the adoption of the UDF to March, with further targeted community engagement scheduled. 

Groups contacted as part of the targeted consultation include: ADRA, Warburton CEDA, Melbourne Water, Warburton Advancement League, Warburton Emergency Planning Group, Warburton Recreation Reserve committee, Warburton Tennis Club, Upper Yarra Sustainable Development Alliance, Upper Yarra River Reserve Committee of Management and the Yarra Riverkeeper Association. 

If Councillors adopt the Warburton UDF on 26 March, Council will then be able to seek external funding for the projects, undertake more detailed Master Plans of specific locations and develop detailed designs for specific projects. Each of these will include their own community engagement opportunities. The UDF will also provide the basis for a future Planning Scheme Amendment that proposes a Warburton-specific Design and Development Overlay (currently DDO12), to ensure the future built form of the town retains and enhances the character of the region. 


Key feedback and subsequent changes

Key Feedback

Proposed Changes to Warburton UDF

Feedback from the majority of the groups/clubs that formed part of the targeted consultation indicated a desire to retain the tennis courts in the current location.

Retain the two existing tennis courts in their current location at the west entrance to Warburton town centre.

Various discussions were focused on alternative traffic/parking solutions that were explored while creating the Warburton UDF. With a broad range of alternatives explored including: acquisition of land; turning circle; Dammans Road; Park & Ride; Closing Thomas Avenue; under Warburton Swing Bridge; roundabout at Station Road and Warburton Highway; and others. These alternatives, some more viable than others, will continue to be explored to manage parking, access, and movement issues in Warburton.

Delete references to extension of Thomas Avenue through the existing tennis courts. Add annotation to Thomas Avenue turning circle to “Monitor and assess effectiveness of turning circle in addressing safe vehicle movement, and investigate any further improvement in traffic and parking throughout Thomas Avenue to increase pedestrian safety and reduce vehicle movements.”

There was also a preference for a single additional tennis court to be provided as part of the Warburton Recreation Reserve. With the preferred outcome sought being a multi-use line marked court that could form the second netball court proposed within the Recreation Reserve.

Include multi-use line marking to the second netball court at Warburton Recreation Reserve to cater for tennis use.

Feedback also suggested that the proposed cricket nets were in an unsuitable location within the Recreation Reserve due to existing shade and limited space.

Delete the four (4) dedicated tennis courts from Precinct 3 at the Warburton Recreation Reserve, and relocate proposed cricket nets to replace tennis courts in this location.

There was mixed feedback regarding parking proposed adjacent to the Redwood Centre. Some wanted car parking removed in this location on Yarra River land, but were supportive of parking upgrades on all existing car parks within Yarra River land in Warburton. However, adjacent land holders, and key land managers were supportive of this parking area, if the amount of parking proposed was reduced.

Reduce car parking provision at Redwood Centre from 61 car spaces to 40 car spaces.

It was also commented that parking in this location was for Warburton Water World, and that facility should be explored for additional parking.

Add annotation to investigate any further improvements to parking capacity and layout at the Warburton Water World.

There was feedback concerned with the alignment of Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo - Yarra Strategic Plan (BBBU) with the Warburton Urban Design Framework. Melbourne Water was part of the targeted consultation and suggested that the Warburton UDF was aligned with the Yarra Strategic Plan, and could adapt to any future implementation of the Yarra Strategic Plan into the Warburton Planning Scheme.

Insert additional content regarding the Yarra Strategic Plan as currently available as additional pages for sections 1.4 and 1.5 in the FAQ section of the project’s Shaping Yarra Ranges page.

There was also suggestions that Warburton explore a place-based emergency management study to increase local resilience, inform future growth decisions, and address emergency management issues including evacuation constraints.

Officers, in collaboration with key authorities and the Warburton Emergency Planning Group, investigate options for a Place-Based Emergency Assessment for Warburton that identifies risks and mitigation measures to inform future projects and infrastructure planning.

Lack of attention to architectural design to preserve Warburton’s unique character and heritage streetscape.

3D perspectives in Urban Design Framework will be updated with hand drawn illustrations to better reflect desired built form character, and heritage of Warburton.

The Skate Park should be retained. This was community funded, designed and built by local youth. There is an opportunity to enhance this open space and take advantage of the beautiful views.

Retain the Skate Park in existing location in Precinct 2.