Land zoning, building guidelines in hands of our residents
SOUTHERN Downs residents will soon have a say in the future planning guidelines of the region.
Southern Downs Regional Council last week called for tenders for the preparation of a new planning scheme for Southern Downs region.
The council is seeking to engage the services of a consultant to assist with the preparation of its new planning scheme, which will be prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act 2016.
Once a consultant is found, the public will be invited to suggest amendments to the scheme.
Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie said the planning scheme would provide direction for the entire region.
"This is very exciting," she said.
"The planning scheme covers everything to do with all sorts of development.
"Where you can build, what you can build, what sort of land zoning and designations are in place, how these can be changed and so on."
Cr Dobie said the planning scheme was completely rewritten after amalgamation.
"And it's a very good planning scheme," she said.
"There have been lots of little changes made over time but there still some things that need updating.
"This process will be a review of the planning scheme, not a complete rewrite and we'll be asking for public consultation to help advise and suggest amendments.
"We're ideally looking for someone to come in who has experience with this size of planning scheme, a rural/urban scheme and when they're in place then they'll ask the public to get involved."
The process is expected to take up to at least a year.
"For many people, this will have little to no impact, but for those who are interested in seeing things change in our region, this is an important opportunity," Cr Dobie said.
"Over the years a number of developments have been refused because they didn't align with the current scheme.
"For instance, last year a feedlot development north of Allora was denied because it didn't align.
"So a review of the planning scheme will look at all of those things are see if changes can be made.
"Developments or building applications that were once declined may be allowed in future if the planning scheme is changed to reflect that.
"So if there are members of the public who have amendments they would like to see made to the planning scheme we'd ask them to come forward and have their say."