Feedback sought on council planning scheme

BUNDABERG Regional Council is seeking public feedback on a proposed new planning scheme designed to bring existing schemes into alignment and to provide a cohesive direction for future development region-wide.

Currently, the Bundaberg region operates under four former council planning schemes including Isis Shire, Burnett Shire, Kolan Shire and Bundaberg City plans.

The Proposed Bundaberg Regional Planning Scheme will consolidate and replace those schemes.

Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman said the existing schemes failed to reflect a united council vision for development across the region.

"While the existing schemes have been in use since before amalgamation in 2008, they don't allow for consistency when it comes to cohesive development decisions," Cr Forman said.

"We need a unified vision for growth across the region and that's exactly what this new draft planning scheme has been designed to do.

"The new scheme only applies to future development and it does not affect existing development or approvals for developments that have not started."

Bundaberg Regional Council's planning chairman Ross Sommerfeld said it was important for residents to be informed about the new planning scheme, as it applied to a range of development activities across the region including:

• Establishing a new use or expanding an existing use;
• Subdividing land or changing boundaries;
• Carrying our certain building work (i.e. altering, moving or demolishing a heritage place);
• Engineering or landscaping works;
• Excavation and filling;
• Vegetation Clearing; and
• Advertising Signage

"The proposed scheme will reflect the strategic visions of the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan, adopted in 2011, which identified key growth areas in the Bundaberg Region a population increase of 50,000 people by 2031," Cr Sommerfeld said.

"The proposed scheme recognizes the constraints in developing strategic cropping land and the need for growth in our smaller towns and localities where there are existing amenities like schools, shops and hotels. These locations contribute enormously to the lifestyle quality we enjoy.

"The new scheme is intended to be a living document with full reviews every five years to ensure it does not become outdated and reflects trends in development. It affects everybody in the region and I encourage all residents to become involved and attend scheduled consultation meetings. Any feedback will be welcomed."

The council will conduct an extensive public consultation over an eight-week period between Monday, September 22 to Tuesday, November 28.

More information about the consultation sessions and the scheme are available on the council's website

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