“In the view of the judges this project successfully addressed urban encroachment and the impact of peak visitor demand along a widely-used stretch of coastline on Port Phillip Bay. It removes a series of barriers that have developed over decades between the coastline and the town, which had resulted in the township of Rye losing its connection with the coast. The judges considered this to be a good example of how a coastal council could recapture the appeal of a destination coastal township which had been eroded by development.” Award Citation
The Rye Township Plan won a National Coastal Award for Planning and Management 2018.
After a history of sporadic strategic planning approaches, the Rye Township Plan was initiated to consolidate and build upon previous work and deliver an outcome that encapsulates the needs and desires of the local community. REALMstudios developed a thorough and rigorous consultation process in collaboration with Capire Consulting that involved the community, its representative leaders, Council representatives and Councilors to deliver on enhancing the existing natural assets, engage with the cultural history of the township, and harness the town’s 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 comprehensive 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 Rye.
Most importantly, the foundations of the Rye Township Plan were formed through a comprehensive, well attended and lively community engagement process conducted over the course of two months, including web presence, have your say workshops and stakeholder meetings. Workshops gave the community opportunity to engage in the process of the development of the Plan and through several iterations, their aspirations underpinned and informed the design overlays and recommendations of the Plan. By placing stakeholders at the centre of the investigation a vision for a liveable, attractive, vibrant, resilient and sustainable township was created.
Recommendations from the various workshops and meetings challenged and informed the outcome which ultimately 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.
Mornington Peninsula Council adopted the Township Plan in late 2017.