South West Landscape Assessment Study
The department is undertaking a Landscape Assessment Study of south west Victoria. The study will assess the visual character and significance of the landscape leading to the preparation of planning scheme policy and guidance to ensure its protection and management into the future.
The south west region of Victoria has a wide range of landscape types from the volcanic plains and cones that dominate much of the area, to the Great Dividing Range in the north, and the Grampians in the central west.
Understanding, mapping and describing landscape character and significance is an important component of regional planning and supporting appropriate development, economic growth and investment. The study will inform the development of a number of regional growth plans currently being undertaken by the department.
On this page:
- Have your say on the landscape significance assessments
- Keep informed
- Understanding landscape character
- The study area
- Aims of the study
- Key steps
- Previous landscape assessment studies
You are invited to have your say on the draft Landscape Analysis Papers by close of business on Friday 8 February 2013.
Community Bulletin No. 3
Our third Community Bulletin overviews the third stage of the project involving the assessment of the signficant landscape areas and views across the entire south-west region of Victoria:
Draft Landscape Analysis Papers
A set of draft Landscape Analysis Papers have been prepared for each area and view assessed as being of State or regional significance. For both landscape areas and views a comprehensive description of the methodology used to assess and determine significance can be found in the relevant ‘Overview Paper’.
Each paper includes:
- Overall significance rating which states the level of significance or the area or view taking into account all values.
- Visual assessment which describes in detail the features, edges, contrasts and composition of the landscape.
- Other cultural landscape values describing the non-visual values e.g historic, environmental, social etc.
- A map of each significant landscape area and view.
To view or download a copy of any of the draft Landscape Analysis Paper please select the relevant paper below:
Landscape Significance Areas
- Landscape Analysis Paper 00 – Overview (PDF - 600 KB)
- Landscape Analysis Paper 01 – Tablelands Significance Area (PDF - 1.3 MB)
- Landscape Analysis Paper 02 – Geriward (Grampians) & Surrounds Significance Area (PDF - 576 KB)
- Landscape Analysis Paper 03 – West Wimmera Significance Area (PDF - 1.2 MB)
- Landscape Analysis Paper 04 – New Volcanic Plans Significance Area (PDF - 1.2 MB)
- Landscape Analysis Paper 05 – Southern Cones and Lakes Significance Area (PDF - 1.6 MB)
- Landscape Analysis Paper 06 – South West Forests Significance Area (PDF - 611 KB)
- Landscape Analysis Paper 07 – Plateaus and Gorges Significance Area (PDF - 2.2 MB)
- Landscape Analysis Paper 08 – Southern Pyrenees and Uplands Significance Area (PDF - 1.3 MB)
- Landscape Analysis Paper 09 – Forested Uplands Significance Area (PDF - 1.4 MB)
Landscape Significance Views
How to have your say
We are seeking your feedback on the draft Landscape Analysis Papers. This will help to inform and more accurately define areas identified.
The following questions may assist you in forming your views:
- Do you agree that the landscapes and views identified are the most significant?
- Are there areas or views that have been missed? If so, what makes those places significant to you?
- Is the extent of each area right? Are some too large or too small?
Please send your feedback by close of business on Friday 8 February 2013 to:
Mail: South West Landscape Assessment Study
Department of Planning and Community Development
GPO Box 2392
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000
How have significance investigation areas been identified?
Landscapes are significant to different people for different reasons. The reasons may vary for example a land can be admired for is scenic beauty, its historic value, the environmental qualities, its value to the regional economy or less tangible values associated with the place, such as memories or associations.
The Study has used three main sources of information to define investigation areas (highlighted grey on the region map) and to identify their values. These include:
- detailed field surveys
- review of available research material
- feedback from the community.
Consultation and Community Values
From May to August, the Study invited contributions from individuals, community groups and key agencies to understand the values placed on landscapes across the region. The objectives of this stage of consultation of the Study were to:
- inform and invite input from the community, key stakeholders and specialist advisors
- determine perceptions and values in relation to landscape character to better inform the character analysis being undertaken
- determine perceptions and values to assist in the identification of the most significant landscapes in the study area.
A draft report has been prepared which documents the feedback received from a wide cross section of the region. This report documents the process of consultation to this point. It will be updated at the conclusion of the Significance Assessment stage with feedback received during this period.
View a copy of the draft Consultation Report:
How have significant areas and views been defined?
For every landscape, a range of factors combines to create an overall illustration of its value. Five cultural landscape values have been used to define landscape areas to assess their significance:
- Aesthetic (e.g. features, edges or contrasts & composition)
- Historic (pre and post contact)
- Other contributing values (e.g. economic)
Views have been defined and considered with a focus on publicly accessible and well known viewing locations. Other factors in their selection include the qualities of the landscape being viewed, the availability of interpretive information, and the promotion of the view from a regional tourism perspective.
How have significant areas and views been assessed?
Levels of significance (state or regional) have been professionally assessed for both landscape areas and views taking into consideration how iconic, exemplary and/or scarce they are, and the cumulative weight of evidence detailing the above cultural values. In addition, views have been assessed based on their composition (both structure and quality) and consideration of their cultural landscape values.
The Study is now into its third stage focused on assessing significant landscape areas and views across the entire south-west region of Victoria. Community Bulletin No. 3 provides a brief overview of this stage of the project.
To register your interest in receiving regular updates on the progress of the study and other material, or if you have any queries about the study, please contact Information Victoria on 1300 366 356 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read our Community Bulletins:
What is landscape character?
Landscape character is the interplay of geology, topography, vegetation, waterbodies and other natural features, combined with the effects of land use and built development, which makes one landscape differ from another.
The study area has been divided into eight Landscape Character Types, based on broad areas of common physical, environmental and cultural characteristics. These have been further divided into Landscape Character Areas, where local conditions, such as the landscape features or the pattern of viewing, vary.
Landscape Character Type and Area Analysis Papers
A detailed description of landscape character is provided for each identified character type and its constituent character areas in the Landscape Character Type & Area Analysis papers. The information within each document includes:
- Overview – Location and key features
- Pattern of Viewing – How the landscape is viewed, key lookout points and viewing corridors
- Landscape Values – Places, views and features that are valued in the area, as identified through research and community feedback
- Change in the Landscape – How the landscape has evolved to its present condition
- Future Landscape Character Directions – A vision for the landscape in the future, and the opportunities and threats to achieve this vision
- Landscape Protection & Management – Existing Planning Scheme policies and controls, and objectives for the management of the landscape
To view or download a copy of any of the draft Landscape Character Area Papers please select the relevant paper below:
- Character Paper 00 Character Types & Areas Overview (PDF - 2.5 MB)
- Character Paper 01 Western Volcanic Plain - Part 1 (PDF - 2.4 MB)
- Character Paper 01 Western Volcanic Plain - Part 2 (PDF - 2.0 MB)
- Character Paper 01 Western Volcanic Plain - Part 3 (PDF - 2.0 MB)
- Character Paper 01 Western Volcanic Plain - Part 4 (PDF - 2.0 MB)
- Character Paper 02 Uplands - Part 1 (PDF - 2.2 MB)
- Character Paper 02 Uplands - Part 2 (PDF - 1.7 MB)
- Character Paper 02 Uplands - Part 3 (PDF - 2.3 MB)
- Character Paper 02 Uplands - Part 4 (PDF - 1.7 MB)
- Character Paper 02 Uplands - Part 5 (PDF - 2.2 MB)
- Character Paper 03 Goldfields - Part 1 (PDF - 1.4 MB)
- Character Paper 03 Goldfields - Part 2 (PDF - 1.7 MB)
- Character Paper 04 Rolling Tablelands (PDF - 2.4 MB)
- Character Paper 05 Wimmera Plains (PDF - 2.5 MB)
- Character Paper 06 Grampians (PDF - 2.4 MB)
- Character Paper 07 Vegetated Rises (PDF - 1.0 MB)
- Character Paper 08 Glenelg Plains (PDF - 1.6 MB)
The study area comprises all non coastal, non urbanised areas in the south west region of Victoria, from Port Phillip Bay in the east to the South Australian border in the west, and extending to the Great Dividing Range in the north.
This area includes 18 municipalities, or parts of municipalities, and will complement recent landscape assessment studies that have been undertaken in the region.
Aims of the study
The landscape assessment study will:
- Define and describe (with photos and maps) the landscape character of the south west region.
- Determine which places, features and views are most significant and why.
- Seek and include the community’s values on the character and significance of the landscape.
- Assess and evaluate various forms of development that have occurred in the landscape, both positive and negative.
- Consider using policies and guidance in the local planning schemes, such as the Significant Landscape Overlay, to protect and manage the landscape into the future.
The study will build on the methodology and approach pioneered by the Coastal Spaces Landscape Assessment Study 2006 and will include extensive field survey work, desktop analysis and mapping to assess distinctive landscape elements, features, character, visual quality and extent, and determine their value and importance across the region.
The outcomes of this study will be an important input to the Regional Growth Plans being prepared in the region, and will provide detailed recommendations and planning scheme ready policy for retaining and respecting landscape values.
The study is being prepared in four stages over 12 months commencing in 2012:
|Stage 1||Desktop analysis background research||January – February
|Stage 2||Landscape character assessment||March – August|
|Stage 3||Landscape significance assessment||September – January|
|Stage 4||Final recommendations||February – April|
Desktop analysis and background research
This stage involves a review of existing studies and confirmation of the methodology and approach to consultation.
Landscape character assessment
In this stage the region will be assessed to determine the different landscape character types and areas, and their boundaries. This will involve extensive field survey work, mapping and additional documentation in the form of words and photographs.
Landscape significance assessment
This stage involves the determination of landscape significance through professional analysis, the assessment of community values, and the review of other significance sources such as heritage studies. The most significant landscapes and views may be recommended for further protection and management through the relevant planning schemes.
During this stage the final recommendations of the study will be agreed, including the methods by which they will be implemented. All documentation will be finalised at the end of this stage.
The study will be progressed in partnership with all councils in the south west region, and a range of regional authorities and local interest groups. Strong links will be formed with relevant Regional Growth Plan groups in the region.
Previous landscape assessment studies
The study will seek to integrate previous landscape assessment studies undertaken across the region. A number of previous studies have been undertaken or are being undertaken in the area. These include:
- Great Ocean Road Region Landscape Assessment Study, 2003
- Coastal Spaces Landscape Assessment Study, 2006
- Landscape Assessment North of the Princes Highway, Surf Coast Shire, 2007
- Draft Warrnambool Coastal Landscape Review, 2009
- Southern Grampians Significant Landscape Assessment
Any personal information and feedback provided by you is collected by the Department for the purposes of informing the South West Landscape Assessment Study and keeping interested parties up to date.
If you submit a photo your name may be used and published as part of publications relating to the study. If you do not want your name published please indicate this when you send us your photograph.
You can request access to your personal information by contacting DPCD's Freedom of Information unit by phone (03) 9208 3112 or by email email@example.com.