The community engagement hub of the Upper Lachlan

Land use tables – what are they and why change them?

October 26, 2021

Upper Lachlan is a special place with limitless opportunity. It has magnificent landscapes, stunning visual beauty and unique character across its 12 villages. However, highly restrictive planning prohibitions constrain the sustainability of the LGA. To address this, Council has proposed to amend its Land Use Table as a solution to this issue.

Council has recently exhibited a planning proposal. We are seeking feedback regarding Land Use Tables. So what are Land Use Tables, and why change them?

IN A NUTSHELL

WHAT: Land Use Tables tell you what land uses are permitted either without consent or with consent, and what is prohibited in each zone. Council wishes to modify its land use tables to allow some changes to the development you can do with consent, and the development that is prohibited for each zone.

WHERE: These changes will apply across the whole Local Government Area (LGA), however there may be no change to some areas, ranging to more changes elsewhere in the Shire.

HOW: These changes are to be achieved via a planning proposal through the NSW Government Gateway process.

WHY: Existing controls are restrictive and over time have become less suitable to the needs of the LGA. Providing greater flexibility will support Council’s ability to attract businesses and residents to the Shire, as well as support the sustainability of the locality. An example includes tourist accommodation facilities to better support tourism and overnight stays. Also, value adding to existing businesses is important.

WHY: Existing controls are restrictive and over time have become less suitable to the needs of the LGA. Providing greater flexibility will support Council’s ability to attract businesses and residents to the Shire, as well as support the sustainability of the locality. An example includes tourist accommodation facilities to better support tourism and overnight stays. Also, value adding to existing businesses is important.

UNDERLYING PHILOSOPHIES BEHIND CHANGING LAND USE TABLES

The need for variety and diversification

The primary purpose of the changes is to encourage sustained economic growth and increase resilience in the face of current challenges.  Variety is the backbone of adaptability and resilience, providing for change and long term sustainability. A greater variety of land use options will help to facilitate sustainable populations over the next 20 years and will ensure a diversity of housing choices and services are available and targeted to the community’s needs.

Recent economic analysis supports a need for diversification.  The locality needs to address its economic decline and maintain its competitiveness with neighbouring LGAs in the South East and Tablelands region and regional NSW more broadly. Restrictive Land Use Tables have contributed to stifling the creation of business and enterprise.

Aligning with other documents and policies

This proposal seeks to better align with Council’s other land use planning documents: the Regional Plan, Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) and Local Environmental Plan (LEP).

Council’s LSPS, for instance, also focuses on the need to identify adequate land supply for various land uses, recognising Upper Lachlan as a year-round eco-friendly destination offering diverse rural lifestyle and recreational opportunities, targeting increased agricultural output and industry diversity. Limiting the uses people can undertake unnecessarily limits innovation and income generation

Opening up possibilities and planning for the future

We want to make the land use table more open to what is possible, thereby meeting the needs of the LGA by encouraging economic activity and innovation in order to help address various challenges (ie aging population, lower productivity, pandemic, comparatively low economic performance and low job growth rate). As an example, the company “.id” projects negative population growth over the next 15 years in large parts of the LGA.

Capitalising on potential

The Shire has enormous potential, is set in a stunning and geographically diverse location, and can provide a unique local experience. The 12 villages should take advantage of the natural and constructed landscapes to provide high amenity at a relatively low cost. Enabling specific development will add value to its tourism potential and character values, helping to create an enriching memorable immersion experience and bring something new to the region’s marketability.

As the population and tourist potential of the area and the needs of the locality change, the locality can provide developable land where it is needed most. This will better support housing, tourism and agriculture. It will contribute to maintaining and enhancing the region’s livability and its competitive strength.

Where do Land Use Tables fit into the full planning framework

Councils other Planning projects such as local Character Statements, Masterplanning and rural land planning will also act to support the aims of this proposal, and we will provide more details on these shortly.

IN SUMMARY

The proposed changes to the Land Use tables do not involve drastic change, but rather change that is suitable for the environmental, social and economic needs of a place and its community, while still protecting and maintaining the character and atmosphere of the Shire and its villages.

Council recognises this is about long term planning for the future prosperity of the Shire.  

Last modified: October 26, 2021

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