A new town centre has been flagged to be built at Herne Hill in the Swan Valley, under draft planning guidelines released by the state government for public comment today.
Planning Minister John Day said the aim of the draft guidelines would allow for greater protection of agricultural land in the valley, while at the same time encouraging more tourism activities and related developments.
The town centre proposal at Herne Hill calls for the consolidation of residential, commercial and community activities to develop an area that would be identifiable as a typical Western Australian rural town.
A local structure plan for the town centre will be developed by the City of Swan.
Around 600,000 people visit the Swan Valley each year, with the region contributing around $200 million annually to the WA economy.
To maintain the character of the Swan Valley, the guidelines suggest it be split into defined zones.
A 6,500 hectare agricultural zone, known as the Swan Valley Rural Zone, will ensure the existing rural nature of the valley is either maintained or enhanced.
Tourism-related development would be supported in the rural zone, but only if it is incidental to the primary use of the land, such as a winery cellar door on a vineyard, and in a style sensitive to the character of the Swan Valley.
An intensive tourism zone has also been proposed, to create visitor nodes and attractions along West Swan Road and Great Northern Highway.
A rural residential zone is also part of the plan, to allow rural living on lots that would also provide opportunity for hobby farms, small scale agricultural, horticultural or tourism activity, and cottage industry.
Mr Day said the Swan Valley was a unique and valuable part of Perth, with the state government committed to protecting it for the benefit of current and future generations.
“This draft plan prescribes what land uses are appropriate in the Swan Valley and how buildings should be designed, to ensure future developments reflect the character of the area,” Mr Day said.
“It strikes a balance between the appropriate growth of the food, beverage and tourism industry, while protecting the rural character and agricultural land from competing and incompatible land uses.”
Members of the public will be able to comment on the plan until December 15.