It takes a whole village to hatch a plan

SHOALHAVEN Heads community members have been given the chance to decide the future direction of their village.

BIG PLANS: Shoalhaven Heads Community Forum publicity officer Anne-Louise O’Connor and president Laurie Talbot show off some of the proposals to beautify the village as part of the landscape master plan.

BIG PLANS: Shoalhaven Heads Community Forum publicity officer Anne-Louise O’Connor and president Laurie Talbot show off some of the proposals to beautify the village as part of the landscape master plan.

More than 200 people attended a community meeting to launch the Shoalhaven Heads master plan.

When the Heads strategic plan was launched in April last year, the Shoalhaven Heads Community Forum formed a working group to push for projects.

A community survey identified the most popular project was a town centre strategy, including a landscape master plan and associated beautification of the village.

Forum president Laurie Talbot said the plan was to beautify the village, making it a more attractive place to live and visit.

“We want to make it a welcoming place,” he said.

“We want Heads residents to take ownership of their village and have pride in it.”

He said the community meeting allowed residents to decide a number of items on the landscape master plan. 

Residents were able to decide on what sort of trees, shrubs and grasses would be planted in the village as part of its beautification, a colour plate for any future pathways, outdoor furniture and signage, even planning for future projects and facilities.

“It is up to the community to come up with what they want for the village and the best way to move ahead with those plans,” Mr Talbot said.

“At the meeting we had a number of different design ideas and proposals for the village on display. Each resident at the meeting was given three stickers to place on the ideas they liked best.

“From that feedback, results will be collated and a report presented at a future forum meeting.

“While it’s great to come up with these ideas, we know they are not going to happen overnight.

“We will have to look for alternative funding sources and also need the backing of the community as a whole to ensure success.”

A number of projects have already been undertaken in the village, including the construction of a bushwalking track from the surf club to the Shoalhaven River, a shared footpath at River Road, a pathway from River Road to McIntosh Street, a children’s learn-to-ride and road rules area at Jerry Bailey Oval and the installation of tangle boxes for fishermen’s rubbish at the village’s boat ramps and jetties.

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