Cromwell Community Board to take a public stand on River Terrace

by Kerrie Waterworth - Oct 18, 2018

The Cromwell Community Board has agreed to take the highly unusual step of recommending a CODC submission opposing Plan Change 13 and will present a report at next week’s council meeting, it was revealed this afternoon.

At a media briefing showcasing the Cromwell Master plan, CODC Chief Executive Sanchia Jacobs said a group of senior CODC staff and CCB members had met “informally” last night to decide the issue.

“We are absolutely aware of the significance of the (River Terrace) development and the views of the community. We have discussed that with elected members and we are actually going to be presenting a report in the public forum to council next week,” Jacobs says.

CODC Chief Executive Sanchia Jacobs on leftCODC Executive Manager Planning and Environment Louise van der Voort on right 2

CODC Chief Executive Sanchia Jacobs (left) and CODC Executive Manager Planning and Environment Louise van der Voort (right) at today's media briefing in Cromwell

In defending the decision to make a last minute submission on Plan Change 13, via the CODC, Cromwell Community Board Chair Neil Gillespie said “the board had struggled for some time as to whether we should, could and how, what and would we say to make a submission and work through that process.”

“It wasn’t because the CCB didn’t know the process. This is the 13th Plan Change, it was because there is no record of any community board or council submitting on any private plan change…. and, frankly in my personal view, the best submissions on Plan Change 13 come from the community,” Gillespie says.

The news of the CCB submission came after an hour-long presentation of the Cromwell "Eye to the Future" Masterplan options by the Managing Director of Rationale Ltd, Edward Guy.

The Cromwell Masterplan has been in development since January and provides a 30 year plan for the Cromwell Basin.

The Arrowtown based company, Rationale Ltd was commissioned to develop the Masterplan at an estimated cost of more than $750,000, funded from the CCB reserves account, so ratepayers would not be affected.

IMG 6133

Simon Giles, new Cromwell resident and a commercial pilot with Virgin Australia - focussed opposition to Plan Change 13

Soon-to-be Cromwell resident Simon Giles (who has written to Crux explaining why he feels so strongly about the current Plan Change linked to the proposed River Terrace subdivision) attended the media briefing and accused the CCB and the CODC staff of being in a “parallel universe”.

“What is being talked about in the community is Plan Change 13, and that is going to trash your (Master plan) vision if that goes ahead. Now I am not trying to derail the presentation but it just seems weird that you are not having a conversation about having a forum about the response to Plan Change 13. You talk about having a heritage centre and trying to get international tourists to come here when you have Highlands motor sport park (adjacent to the proposed River Terrace development) which has put Cromwell on the map. It needs to be protected, among other areas of the fantastic environment you have here in Cromwell. This is a significant urgent issue, whereas this (Master Plan) is nice to have but if you don’t make a positive outcome on Plan Change 13 then you are wasting your time.”

CODC Executive Manager, Planning and Environment, Louise van der Voort responded by saying, “the best way to achieve the outcomes the community want is for the community to engage in this process and to lodge a further submission to Plan Change 13 with whatever view they want.”

The summary of submissions on Plan 13 Change can be viewed on the Council’s website at

Further submissions close on Monday 29 October 2018.  

The second community engagement phase for the Cromwell Masterplan opens this Sunday (21 October) with an all-day information session being held at 48 The Mall (next door to the Cromwell Museum). The engagement period will run through until 16 November and includes four public information sessions, an online drop-in session and a survey.

The feedback and analysis gathered to date has focused the Masterplan on three work streams: managing growth, improving the town centre and civic facilities and resolving the future of the Memorial Hall and Heritage Precinct.

“We need to hear from the community what they think about each of the shortlisted options, which one they prefer and how we might improve them,” said Cromwell Community Board Chair Neil Gillespie.

 “Our population is set to almost double within the next 30 years and we are already seeing significant growth pressures affect our town. Planning for our future really comes down to balancing priorities and recognising trade-offs.”

 “We need to stop and think about our place and how we want it to develop over the next 30 years. How can we best shape its growth? What does the future look like – for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren?” Mr Gillespie said.

A summary of the Masterplan options called Let’s Talk Options, the feedback survey and supporting information will be available at . Copies of Let’s Talk Options will also be available at key locations around Cromwell including the Black Rabbit Café in Bannockburn, The Moorings at Pisa Moorings and the Tarras Country Café.  

The Masterplan team will be on hand to explain the options at three information sessions being held at 48 The Mall (next to the Cromwell Museum) over the coming month. Session times are on the CODC website ( and the Council’s Facebook page. There will be an online drop-in event held via CODC’s Facebook page and the team will also be at the Farmers Market, Cromwell Heritage Precinct, on Sunday 4 November.  

Feedback can also be sent to the Council at [email protected].

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