HORSHAM Rural City councillors say they are considering changes to the draft City to River masterplan.
The council received 740 public submissions to the draft plan, which proposes sweeping changes to Horsham City Oval, the Wimmera river front, Horsham Showgrounds and Horsham Botanic Gardens.
Councillor Pam Clarke said she had read through the submissions in three days.
"All the concerns people and groups had were noted, and there have been quite a few changes made already, which will come out as the process continues," she said.
Cr Clarke said the draft plan might come before the council at its next ordinary meeting on November 25. She said once the plan was adopted, council staff would begin preparing detailed designs of specific projects.
"The whole concept is just a vision at this stage. When it comes down to a specific project, everyone involved will be consulted and brought in," she said.
"There have been clubs concerned about their area and that's legitimate - it's their responsibility to protect their club and we've listened to their concerns, made some changes, been back and consulted again."
The draft plan involves Horsham Croquet Club, Horsham Lawn Tennis Club, Sawyer Park Miniature Railway and Horsham Greyhound Racing Club vacating their existing premises near the Wimmera River.
Cr David Grimble said he would take into account people's submissions and their comments to him in person.
"I see people are quite positive about the fact council is doing something. They see the river as something that needs to be developed, but not overdeveloped," he said.
"Clearly there is still some angst around some of the sporting facilities - the tennis courts and croquet club - (and) I was disappointed we put (the plans) out in that particular environment. Their submission was based on their survival, and I think we missed the opportunity to get their feedback on other aspects of the plan."
Cr Grimble said he had hoped to receive more feedback on changes to parking configurations in Horsham CBD.
Authors of a background report on the draft masterplan said the council should consider the removing on-street parking, or replacing angle parking with parallel parking on selected cycle routes.
Cr Grimble said: "I would have liked to have heard more from the business community and people accessing the CBD. If we're going to have some sort of change to the existing use, we need adequate feedback and I think we're light on on that. The Horsham Urban Transport Plan might guide us."
Mayor Mark Radford said the feedback contained "surprises".
"In the submissions, there have been suggestions we hadn't considered," he said. "Some of the ideas are reasonably useful and might make it all the way.
"There are some things people are excited about, and some things they're concerned about - and that also relates to my own personal thoughts. From the first time I saw the plan, there were some things I wasn't too excited about."
Cr Josh Koenig said there was a "misconception" in the community that the draft plan was already finalised.
"What I've found is an overarching enthusiasm. People have enjoyed that council is looking to the future," he said. "I am still going through submissions and going to the community members and forming opinions on each element of the vision. Because we're so early into the process, we'll probably break up the plan and work on it in sections.
"We have no green lights on anything."
Cr John Robinson said there was "a lot more work to be done" before the council could proceed.
"I'm only one councillor, but the reality is most people are extremely disappointed no costings were given," he said. "It's been put up as 'just a vision' document, but the reality is, it's not - because groups have already been told they will no longer exist where they are."
Cr Robinson said he could not properly analyse the 740 submissions in the first two formats presented to him. He said he received 1500 pages of material two weeks ago.
Cr Alethea Gulvin said having read through the submissions, she still wanted to speak with people before forming a "full opinion".
She said councillors still had briefings to attend on the draft plan before it was tabled at a meeting.
Cr Les Power said he had read all the submissions and was in the middle of reading them again.
"It was good there were so many submissions. It was also good that the survey included children and the elderly as well; it reflects our diverse community," he said.
"It's my personal opinion that this project will be fantastic for Horsham for the next 20 years. A lot of people knocking the project are in an older age bracket.
"We have to get young people back to Horsham because all of them are going away. We need more development and amenities to encourage them to move here."
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