After a history of sporadic strategic planning approaches, the Rye Township Plan aimed to consolidate and build upon previous work to deliver an outcome that encapsulates the needs and desires of the local community. It was developed through a deep consultation process with the community, its representative leaders and Council representative and Councilors to deliver on desires to enhance the existing natural assets, engage with the cultural history of the township, and improve the area’s ability to continue to take advantage of its enviable position on the bay.
As a bayside community, the Rye township experiences a large influx of tourists during the summer months, looking to enjoy the existing coastal environment and vibrancy of the township. Conversely, the small businesses that thrive during the summer months, struggle through the cooler months as the pace and vibrancy of the township subsides.
The development of the Township Plan was supported by a rigorous process that began with a review of the existing strategic documents, before an in-depth analysis of the area’s historic, cultural and environmental elements was undertaken to better understand the opportunities, challenges and aspirations of the Rye Township Plan. Most importantly, the foundations of the Rye Township Plan were formed through a rigorous community engagement processes over the course of two months that saw several workshops and stakeholder meetings take place. These workshops gave the community an opportunity to engage in the processes of the development of the Rye Township Plan and through several iterations, their aspirations underpinned and informed the design overlays and the recommendations. By placing stakeholders at the centre of the investigations a vision for a liveable, attractive, vibrant, resilient and sustainable township was created.
Building on the feedback of the community, these recommendations are materialised into the Township Plan that comes together around a series of key projects and places that together reflect a new character for Rye. There are nine key places and spaces that are proposed for the creation of a local character that is at once coastal, vibrant, relaxed, and expressive of the community’s values towards the environment, sustainability, and the place called Rye.