Paper Subdivisions considered in MidCoast Council meeting

Submissions (red) from North Arm Cove Paper Subdivision land owners and enquiries (yellow) from landowners in relation to the plan. Photo: MidCoast Council.

MIDCOAST Council has considered public submission on the region’s paper subdivisions.

From 30 August 2021 to 28 January 2022 the Draft Rural Strategy was placed on public exhibition, inviting community feedback.

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In the recent Council meeting on 28 September, Councillors noted the public submissions on paper subdivisions across the MidCoast Local Government Area, which came predominantly from landowners in Bundabah, North Arm Cove, Pindimar North and Pindimar South.

Alex Macvean, Senior Land Use Planner for MidCoast Council, said the original purpose and intent of the Paper Subdivision Analysis Report, in the context of the Rural Strategy and associated urban strategies undertaken by Council’s Land Use Planning team, is to provide zone, land use and development standard (lot size, building height) recommendations for the future MidCoast local environmental plan and development control plan.

“At the commencement of the Rural Strategy program, MidCoast Council recognised that the ongoing uncertainty about the future of land in paper subdivisions must be addressed and that clear and consistent recommendations must be provided as part of the new MidCoast planning framework.

“This resolve has only increased with the more recent pressures, ongoing concern and interest from the owners of land within paper subdivisions about the future use of their land,” Alex said.

Numerous community submissions expressed frustration at the lack of options for landowners to develop on their land, stating that environmental zones being applied will further restrict use of the land.

Other landowners stated they were in support of the environmental protection of the areas and are happy to continue camping on the land until or if future options are provided that will allow them to build on their blocks of land.

Overwhelming submissions came from North Arm Cove paper subdivision land owners regarding changes to the land which reclassify from RU2 Rural Landscape with a minimum lot size of 40ha and 8.5m height restriction to C2 Environmental Conservation and C3 Environmental Management with minimum lot sizes of 40ha and 20ha respectively and no height restriction of buildings.

“Council should use rates income to assist in allowing development on all existing lots to obtain additional rates revenue.

“Council will need to compensate landowners or undertake a buy-back scheme if the land is rezoned environmental,” one submission read.

MidCoast Council has stated that a development outcome on every existing allotment within the identified paper subdivisions is not possible given identified constraints and legislative requirements.

It was clarified in the meeting that this Paper Subdivision Analysis Report will form part of the Draft Rural Strategy which will be reported back to Council for amendments before placed on public exhibition for community feedback before the plan is finalised.

The Rural Strategy, when completed, will be a leading document in Council staff’s preparation of the new Land and Environmental Plan, which has an estimated timeline of two years before land use changes are completed and ordered.


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