After almost two years, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment has finally given Eurobodalla Council the go-ahead to place its Rural Lands Planning Proposal on public exhibition, and Council is calling on the community to get involved in the process.
Mayor Liz Innes said strong community support for the planning proposal will help Council push the NSW Government to make these necessary changes to Eurobodalla’s rural lands planning rules.
“This long-awaited permission from the Department of Planning to place our planning proposal on public exhibition means we are close to the end of a process that has taken many years, with significant input from our rural community.”
Clr Innes explained that the recommendations in the Rural Lands Strategy require changes to the Eurobodalla Local Environmental Plan 2012.
“These changes are outlined in our planning proposal but they can’t be implemented without the support of the NSW Government. Council doesn’t have delegation to make the changes so they will need to be submitted to the NSW Minister for Planning to make, after the public exhibition.
“The strategy adopted by Council in July 2016 was developed with great care by a steering committee of local land owners, and provides an excellent blueprint for the future of rural lands in Eurobodalla.
“It balances our aspiration to maintain the integrity of productive agricultural land while providing planning rules that reflect modern rural land use and farming practice.
“Minimum lots sizes and a wider range of land uses in some areas will provide land owners with opportunities for new agriculture or rural tourism businesses, small-lot farming, and additional dwelling and subdivision options,” Clr Innes said.
Under the proposal, most rural land is to be zoned RU1 Primary Production or RU4 Primary Production Small Lots. The E3 Environmental Management zone will not be applied to any land in Eurobodalla.
If approved, the Biodiversity Map overlay will be removed from the Local Environment Plan, placed in a Code and referenced in Council’s Development Control Plans, meaning the map is easier to update when more accurate information about vegetation cover and types becomes available.
In addition to the changes for rural lands, other amendments to the Local Environment Plan are proposed that will increase the number of permissible land uses in business and industrial zones, while an airspace operations clause will ensure operations at the Moruya Airport are not impacted by tall structures in the flight path.
Council will now write to all rural land owners and other land owners directly affected by the proposed amendments to advise of the public exhibition details and how to make a submission.
To make sure land owners get their letters before the exhibition starts, the public exhibition will start on 9 May 2018. The exhibition period will run for four weeks, closing on 8 June 2018.
Exhibition material will be available on Council’s website from 26 April 2018, providing residents an extra two weeks to review and consider the proposed amendments.
Mayor Innes acknowledged that many rural land owners have been waiting a long time for these amendments.
“I want to thank them for their patience, and I’m so pleased we can now move to public exhibition. I want rural land owners and other community members to let us know if the planning proposal accurately reflects the outcomes of the Rural Lands Strategy that we worked so closely on.”
Following exhibition, Council will consider all submissions received before endorsing a final planning proposal. The NSW Government will then be requested to make the changes to Eurobodalla’s LEP 2012 as expediently as possible.