Plan good, ‘but needs work’

THE devil was in the detail in the debate over a new master plan for Bellbridge.

The vast majority of those at the unveiling of the plan at Hume Boat Club yesterday were behind the concept of a community hub at the boat club site, which would include a restaurant.

But passions flared over the details of the plan and in particular the role of the boat club, of which an estimated two-thirds of the Bellbridge community are members.

Hume Boat Club commodore Scott Coates said the proposed master plan saw the club, which will double as a community centre, moved back from the water.

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Mr Coates said while he generally considered the draft “good town planning” he would like to see the club remain closer to the lake, to retain the club’s “spiritual link” to Bethanga Bridge and the water.

“We do think this plan needs a lot of work,” Mr Coates said.

Others were looking further afield, considering the need for an extended walking track and facilities in other foreshore areas.

Among them were Bellbridge residents Stewart Anthony and his wife, Sally, also members of the boat club.

Mr Anthony said the focus should be on getting infrastructure.

He didn’t think it was necessary to focus all the development in one area, pointing to areas of foreshore south of the club.

“There’s a lot of land here you can spread it out quite easily,” he said.

While some at the forum lamented the focus on entertainment for the young at the expense of the old, the general consensus by show of hands was that the master plan had their tick of approval, with some modifications.

Towong Council acting chief executive Dave Barry said this was only the beginning of extensive community consultation.

“This is typical of all the master plan pro-cesses. Normally there is broad agreement on much of the process, we just need to do some fine tuning.”

There will be another feedback session at the boat club tonight at 6.30pm, followed by another two sessions on February 20 at 11am and 6.30pm on February 25.

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