Bridgewater local area structure plan takes shape

THE proposed Bridgewater Local Area Structure Plan lays the future for Bridgewater to include focused development precincts, commercial opportunities, community centres and residential change supported by traffic and infrastructure improvements.

Over the past few months, strategic planning consultants from Aurecon and urban designers from Inspiring Place have been undertaking on-site investigations and targeted consultation with key stakeholders.  This has led to the development of the Bridgewater Local Area Structure Plan.

The plan identifies significant opportunities for private and public investment and development that will aim to meet the future demands of Bridgewater and its surrounding communities.

The key features of the consultation and investigations have to date, included the need for an improved and integrated town centre, commercial expansion, residential quality and upgrades, employment stimulus, supporting education enhancements and traffic and movement issues.

The town enhancement issues include the need to enter the town via a welcoming and symbolic gateway, the streetscapes within the town lack aesthetic appeal and linear trails connecting the town could also be enhanced.  Safe and efficient integration between Green Point and Cove Hill Shopping Centres is vital to pulling Bridgewater together.

For residential issues, the key focus is on improving current and future supply with a strong focus on affordable housing, reducing public housing levels and encouraging new development of an improved quality and standard that provides strong support to the employment nodes.  The location of this housing needs to consider existing and future community uses and retail/commercial activities by increasing densities close to the town centre and supporting improved access to community uses.

Commercial and industrial issues include the need to create employment opportunities and protect the prime industrial land.  Cove Hill Shopping Centre has the potential to focus its growth on the immediate employment precinct by building upon its existing convenience role and expanding into more specialised retail uses while Green Point can build upon its strong convenience base by adding further to this and supporting activity generating uses including offices and community facilities that all integrate well together to support workers and the surrounding communities.

The traffic and movement issues are relevant on a number of different fronts.  These include key intersection treatments, access to shopping centres, improving safety and efficiency of road treatments including areas around Bridgewater High School, future public transport provision and improved pedestrian and bicycle links.

The uncovering and understanding of these issues has led to the development of several key initiatives identified in the attached plan. The key initiatives include a revitalised civic centre supporting a wider range of community activities focused on health, child care and learning; medium and even high density housing surrounding the core activity centre, increasing community activity and safety contributing to the growth of the core shopping centres with increased employment opportunities.  The enhancement of several open space areas for carefully placed playgrounds is also a key part of the structure plan.

Working with the proponents of the current redevelopment of the Bridgewater Federation School facilities will provide impetus for these other new developments and provides the basis of a well-integrated community plan.

Consultation with Housing Tasmania has also begun to ensure the Structure Plan identifies key sites to accommodate improved and more affordable housing proposals.  Opportunities for an integrated emergency services precinct that promotes a new police station at the heart of the precinct are also being explored.

The Bridgewater Local Area Structure Plan includes a precinct plan and demonstrates how Bridgewater can develop to improve the future opportunities for the entire community – locally and regionally.

Feedback can be provided to by addressing inquiries to Brighton Council’s resource services manager Robert Higgins on 6268 7000 or email to