Yanchep Lagoon consultation ‘put people first’

An artist's impression of the Yanchep Lagoon waterfront.
An artist's impression of the Yanchep Lagoon waterfront.

RESIDENTS’ potential resistance to development prompted a community engagement initiative for Yanchep Lagoon, consultants say.

Urban design consultancy RobertsDay and the City of Wanneroo have been shortlisted in the international City Nation Place Awards for the lagoon master plan consultation, with winners to be announced on November 7.

The City briefed the consultants to get community input and approval while developing the plan, which the council endorsed in August.

“In the next 20 years, Yanchep will become a community larger than Busselton and Geraldton, and will be one of Perth’s largest coastal settlement,” RobertsDay director Duane Cole said.

“The impending change had the potential to be extremely confronting for the tight-knit small community of Yanchep, who valued the natural assets of the area.

“So, it was natural to bring them on the master plan design journey, ensuring they were able to directly input into the facilities they needed and retain the character of the town they love.

“To do that, we consulted with the community very early on to identify the fundamental values and priorities they had.

“We used a process that put people first.”

Yanchep Lagoon planning design forum.

RobertsDay combined its place-making expertise with the Councils’ resources to get input from the community through interactive mapping, a community survey, the City’s Your Say community engagement hub, and email and mail communications.

“The stand-out component was the way we framed questions to the community to give us an in-depth knowledge of their values and the way they use facilities in the town, as well as their needs and priorities,” Mr Cole said.

“By capturing the emotional elements as well as the practical land uses, urban designers were better able to customise and visualise a plan that gave the community a sense of place and comfort in the knowledge they had been heard and considered.”

Mr Cole said the lagoon had immense cultural and emotional significance.

“The community has previously made requests based on emerging needs, such as a new surf club, but the result was buildings not in keeping with the area or the coastal landscape,” he said.

Some of the key features in the master plan include transitioning the surf lifesaving club into a community hub, extending playgrounds, beachfront terraces and shelter, and creating spaces to support events and cultural activities.

It also proposed beachfront boardwalks, botanic walking trails, shops, cafes and restaurants.

Lifesaving club grows bigger

Yanchep Lagoon master plan.