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Whitsunday Regional Council is one step closer to adopting the draft Planning Scheme with the Submission Analysis Report from the second consultation period being received by Council in yesterday’s final meeting before the Christmas break.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said the eventual adoption of the Whitsunday Regional Council Planning Scheme is just another step towards unifying the region.
“The planning scheme is a land use planning guideline which provides a framework for the controlled and sustainable growth and progress of the Whitsunday Region.
“It seeks to provide appropriate zoning and the guidelines to facilitate job creation, cut red tape and improve the way our region accommodates those people who move to the Whitsundays.
‘Progress is happening and it is our responsibility to make sure we are prepared for the future economic growth of our region and remain proactive as opportunities present,” Mayor Willcox said.
128 Submissions were received from the second consultation period that took place between August and October 2016, with Council’s officers attending several markets and shopping centres throughout the region to build awareness of the draft Planning Scheme.
The key topics from these submissions included building heights in Airlie Beach that were both opposed and supported; objections to growth in Airlie Beach; objections to low-medium residential zone minimum lot size; re-zoning requests and recommendations for future design elements to be incorporated into a future Airlie Beach Local Plan.
Council was happy with the community feedback having received 693 submissions in 2015 and only 128 in 2016.
Council are now satisfied that the draft Planning Scheme adequately balances interests in the region and will seek to adopt it in mid 2017.
The submissions have also triggered several new investigations into reducing red tape for renewable energy facilities, increasing flexibility for tourism development, rural residential minimum lot size impacts, bed and breakfast policy investigation, Bowen Local Planning Investigation, several re-zoning requests and a revised Airlie Beach Local Plan.
All amendment requests will be assessed in more detail and considered for future amendments to the planning scheme in early 2018.
On the road to adoption, Council today resolved to send the draft Planning Scheme to the Minister for a final state interest review and hopes to receive approval from the Minister to adopt the draft Planning Scheme mid 2017. The Ministerial review process is the final step before adoption in the Statutory Guideline for Making and Amending a Local Planning Instrument.
The Submission Analysis Report 2016 is available online on Council’s website from tomorrow and submitters can search by topic or submission number. Submission numbers will be mailed out to all submitters by next week so that they can check responses to their personal submission.
For more information please contact Council’s Strategic Planning Department on 07 4945 0263; or email firstname.lastname@example.org