Why is Council preparing a Rural Land Use Strategy?

    Our existing rural strategies such as the1998 Byron Rural Settlement Strategy and 2004 Sustainable Agricultural Strategy are outdated.  Since both of these documents were written there has been changing expectations about the way people want to live, work and recreate in our rural areas, as well as changes in our agriculture and rural tourism economies. We have also developed a better understanding of the connection between human actions and our environment’s resilience.

    To preserve the distinctive character, values and economic capacity of the Shire’s rural areas for future generations, a more holistic strategy for all rural land uses in the Shire is required.




    What information has informed the draft Strategy?

    The draft Strategy is informed by the current planning framework (commonwealth, state and regional), Council’s adopted ‘Site Suitability Criteria and Mapping Methodology’ and
    ‘Policy Directions Paper’ and early community feedback.

    The figure below provides an overview of the different stages carried out in developing the draft Strategy. 

    More detailed information about these stages can be found in Section 1.2 of the draft Strategy.



     

     




    Is this a rural settlement strategy?

    The draft Rural Land Use Strategy is not only about where people live. Rather, it provides a broad planning framework to guide future land zoning and use, protection and / or development of our rural lands.

    While the strategy does identify potential localities for future rural living, it also considers agriculture and rural tourism in areas that don’t have significant environmental, bushfire, slope or infrastructure constraints.  Importantly, it supports the right to farm and protects quality agricultural and mineral resource lands (existing or future).

    This Strategy will replace the 1998 Byron Rural Settlement Strategy once adopted by Council and
    endorsed by the State Government.




     

    What does the draft Strategy aim to deliver for our rural areas?

    The draft Strategy aims to deliver:

      an enabling framework to allow the community and Council to get on with delivering improved outcomes in our rural areas

      a platform to acknowledge the good work of rural landholders and community groups who are already sustainably managing our rural land

      opportunities to reward rural land owners who undertake significant environmental restoration works on their land by allowing sympathetic development to coincide with these works

      flexibility to embrace community driven sustainability initiatives in our rural areas

      rural lifestyle living opportunities that aim to achieve full cost-recovery in the delivery of  essential road infrastructure

    What if my property is included on Map 4 - 'Priority Localities for Rural Lifestyle Living Opportunities'?

    Initial consultation with landowners in the areas shown on Map 4 will occur during the public exhibition process. It should be understood that this map is a guide only and sites will be assessed in accordance with the decision framework contained in this strategy (see Figure 4).  It also should be understood that these maps are “draft” only and may be subject to significant changes after the exhibition process, when adopted by Council and/or when endorsed by the Department of
    Planning and Environment.

    Landowners are encouraged to remain informed and involved throughout the strategy process.

    As this is a ‘draft’ Strategy it has no status until formally adopted by Council and endorsed by the Department of Planning and Environment.

    What if my property is included on Map 5 - 'Areas with Future Urban or Village Development Potential'?

    These areas are being considered in the preparation of Council’s Residential Strategy. 

    The Residential Strategy will determine what, if any, opportunities exist for future urban settlement on this land. If the Residential Strategy does not require this land for future urban
    purposes then they it can be considered in this Strategy for potential future rural lifestyle living opportunities. 

    Landowners are encouraged to remain informed and involved throughout both strategy processes.

    Why hasn’t my property/locality been identified on Map 4 Priority Localities for Rural Lifestyle Living Opportunities or Map 5 - Areas with Future Urban or Village Development Potential?

    Properties or localities identified in the above maps indicate a relatively high amount of unconstrained and/or assessable land, (as identified in the Site Suitability Criteria and Mapping Methodology), as well as having a strong potential to build on and strengthen existing
    communities, and reasonable access to major town services.

    It is important to understand that the maps are a guide only and it is not the intention of the draft Strategy to exclude lands outside of these localities from further consideration. Any such lands would need to satisfy the decision framework outlined in Figure 4 of the draft Strategy.

    For more information on your local area and how the strategy relates please refer to Fact Sheet ‘How does the draft Strategy affect my local area?’

    What if my property was among those included in the Site Specific Property Investigation?

    To partly inform preparation of the draft Strategy, a number of properties were investigated to determine their suitability for future rural lifestyle living opportunities.  The properties investigated come from past council resolutions, past consultant/ landowner submissions
    and/or Council’s Financial Sustainability Plan 2015/16.  All properties were assessed against the Strategy’s Site Suitability Criteria and Mapping Methodology (adopted at the 10 December 2015 Council meeting) and Decision Framework, along with other relevant planning considerations and subject of a separate report to Council.  The Decision Framework referred to above was contained in Figure 4 of the draft Strategy presented to Council on 17 March 2016 (see Report 13.6).

    Council at its 17 March 2016 meeting considered a report in relation to these properties (see Report 13.10) and resolved ‘that Council note the site specific property assessment
    outcomes contained in table A1 of Attachment 3 (E2016/13406) of this report based on draft assessment criteria and associated maps (subject of report 13.6 of today’s agenda) that have been subsequently amended.  Consequently the outcomes cannot be considered
    as determinative.

    Therefore, these properties may still have potential to satisfy the Decision Framework for
    future rural lifestyle living opportunities, contained in Figure 4 of the draft Strategy.

     

    Why has the draft Strategy identified certain assessable and unconstrained lands for future “urban” or “village” development potential?

    While rural lifestyle living opportunities remain a relevant part of the housing mix it is important to understand that this form of settlement represents primarily a ‘lifestyle choice’ that, due to its larger lot size, plays a minor role in meeting the overall housing needs of the Shire.

    Given that the majority of the Shire’s future population growth will be housed in our urban areas, it is vital that any potential urban land is not used by this form of settlement.

    For this reason the Strategy also identifies localities having future urban/village potential due to their size and proximity to major town services.  These areas are on hold pending the outcome of Council’s Residential Strategy (in preparation) which will determine what,
    if any, opportunities exist for future urban settlement.  If the Residential Strategy determines that any of these areas are not required for future urban purposes then they can be considered in this Strategy for potential future rural lifestyle living opportunities.  Maps 5, 5a and 5b show the location of these localities while more detailed information on each locality
    is contained in Appendix 2 of the Strategy.