The importance of Scenic Amenity to the quality of life and prosperity of the Gold Coast is recognised by the South East Queensland Regional Plan, which identifies Scenic Amenity as one of the values to be identified and protected through Local Growth Management Strategies and other processes as rural precinct planning.
While the Gold Coast is clearly a beautiful place, and it is the intent of governments to protect its scenic resources, there are opportunities for explicit recognition of these value and intent through the adoption of refined assessment procedures and planning policies. One of the first steps towards improved assessment procedures and planning policies would be the adoption of consistent operational definitions of aesthetic and related terms in order to provide greater clarity and efficiency in the measurement, management, and protection of scenic resources.
This report examines the meaning and intent of Scenic Amenity and related terms as used in the SEQ Regional Plan with special reference to their possible application for the development of local growth management strategies by the Gold Coast City Council.
Continued intensive growth in the urban footprint of the Gold Coast provides opportunities for further recognition of visual corridors which will connect with coastal, natural and rural scenic landscape areas. The first stage of this process would require identification of strategic locations of high value with the urban footprint, and evaluation of urban design strategies that could be adopted to reinforce the benefits that can be made from showcasing these scenic resources. The second stage of the process would be to adopt city-wide guidelines for regulating development in
these locations to protect their values for future generations. This would entail detailed evaluation of planning scheme policies and regulations that would simplify and support this initiative.
Scenic Amenity management plans would be ideally undertaken for rural and regional areas to ensure locations of particular importance are protected for the enjoyment of existing residents, new residents and tourists who use these areas. As with urban planning, this will entail identification of strategically important locations including key scenic landscape areas, visual corridors, and viewpoints to ensure these areas are recognised and receive appropriate management. In many cases this will require identification of complementary landscape values. A second stage of planning will require development of Scenic Amenity management guidelines for the Regional Landscape and Rural Production Area within the Gold Coast City Council area.