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Mayor disappointed of NSW Government changes made to the Rural Lands Strategy LEP

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes is disappointed a small number of local property owners have been let down after NSW Government changes to the Rural Lands Strategy LEP amendment.

“The document Council had endorsed is not the document the Minister signed off,” Cr Innes said.

“Council staff identified a number of concerns following the LEP amendment was made, including finalising the LEP in a manner that allows boat sheds to be built in the E2 Environmental Conservation Zone without approval.

“This was contrary to Council’s adopted position.

“Another issue was incomplete mapping information defining the location of roads, rivers and some property boundaries that made the plans difficult to read.”

Cr Innes said it wasn’t until Council staff raised these issues with the Department of Planning that Council was advised changes had been made to minimum lot size maps.

“By their own admission, the Department of Planning made changes to the agreed position without advising us, and there’s no excuse for that.

“The mess with the incomplete mapping meant Council staff have spent weeks identifying the true impact of this change. We now know 10 property owners who previously did not have a building entitlement but were expecting one under the new LEP have had that potential removed because of the Department’s undisclosed change.

“While we’re pleased the Department has agreed to correct the other mistakes made in finalising the LEP, I remain astonished that such a significant change was made without informing Council or the property owners impacted.

“I want to be clear that the LEP reflects the vast majority of our Rural Land Strategy thinking and we’re thrilled about that. It’s been a long time coming.

“And yes, the changes made by the Department are minor in the context of the overall LEP amendment and we do need to focus on the opportunities it brings. But it’s unfair for these landowners who are local families and farmers who had hoped the rural lands reforms would allow them to build a home on their own land. They’ve been let down badly.”

Cr Innes said representatives of the Department had agreed to meet with Councillors and the affected property owners to discuss what has occurred and the impacts it will have, and letters will be sent to those impacted this week.

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