At its Council Meeting on Tuesday 25 February 2020 Mornington Peninsula Shire Council endorsed the Briars Master Plan.
The Plan articulates Council’s and the community’s vision for The Briars, focusing on protecting, enhancing and celebrating the natural, cultural and heritage beauty of the site.
For six weeks from March to May 2019, the draft Briars Master Plan was placed on public exhibition. During this time, many members of the community provided feedback on the proposed experiences in the plan.
Much of the feedback from the community was very positive and built excitement for the plan, with respondents particularly loving the extension to the Wildlife Sanctuary and the re-introduction of threatened species to the site.
In response, a few changes were made to the Plan which Council feel will alleviate the concerns without compromising those much-loved areas of the Briars:
- Angus & Rose Coffee and Creativity and the vineyard will remain in their current locations, with relocation only to be explored with Council should the need for the site arise in the future
- Clarification that the intent of the Children’s Garden is to be a nature play space rather than an artificial playground
- Clarification that most of the development on the site will be green, in the form of indigenous revegetation and regenerative agriculture. Additional built infrastructure will be kept to a minimum.
At the Council Meeting Councillors added some additional priorities to the resolution. These are included in the Master Plan and other Shire strategies:
- An upgrade to the pedestrian connection to the Briars on Craigie Rd be prioritised. This is noted in the Briars Master Plan and is being explored as part of the Municipal Bay Trail package
- As per standard Shire budgeting processes, the Briars Fees and Charges will be subject to Council approval
- Plans showing the access to the Briars for general visitors during events will be presented to Councillors for discussion.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor and Briars Ward Councillor Sam Hearn thanked the community members who provided their thoughts during the consultation period.
“This is an exciting step towards realising the community’s vision for the site.
One of our main aims during the development of this essential Plan was to keep what is already loved and bring in some new, carefully considered experiences that allow more people to enjoy the Briars.”
Briars Ward Councillor Rosie Clark said “as part of the Master Plan, visitors will soon be able to immerse themselves in activities such as a children’s garden nature play space, more family-friendly experiences and more arts
Briars Ward Councillor Bev Colomb said “we have made changes as a result of the community feedback and will continue the plans development with opportunities for Council to review the plan as it progresses”.
Invitations to participate in the detailed design and the build of many areas in the plan will be released to the community.