Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Major land rezoning

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Consultations on a major land rezoning application in the state’s South East will open in the coming months.

The Wattle Range Council is applying to rezone ten parcels of land in the lower South East, specifically around the townships of Millicent, Penola, Beachport, and Glencoe.

The areas under consideration have been identified in the council’s 25-year strategic land use plan to accommodate housing and employment growth as population surges in nearby major centres – Mount Gambier and Robe.

Minister for Planning Nick Champion said this was a major rezoning application that would apply to ten different areas across the lower South East and a great way for the council to look at ways to provide more housing in the community.

“Like all our regions, there is significant stress on the local property market in the South East, with an increasing population and incredibly low rental vacancies,” Mr Champion said.

“We are interested to hear what the local community thinks about the proposed changes and what kind of impact it would have on the area.”

Member for MacKillop, Nick McBride, said he has been working with all tiers of government to seek solutions to the housing shortage that exists across the electorate.

“I am pleased the Wattle Range Council is taking a proactive approach by seeking to open up land for development,” Mr McBride said in a statement.

He said a shortage of affordable housing had significant personal, financial, and economic impacts.

“It affects the way businesses can operate and makes it difficult to attract workers across vital sectors, including agriculture and food processing.

“I encourage the community to provide their feedback on the proposed rezoning option and hope that it leads to a positive outcome.”

Council CEO Ben Gower said the plan was established in conjunction with each of the 13 townships through multiple community engagement sessions that took place over a 12-month period.

“After reviewing the amount of land available for development, we then initiated the above code amendments to address any gaps in the property market,” Mr Gower said.

“Now that the minister has approved the initiation of the code amendments, we would like to hear from our communities once again to ensure there are no surprises before they are implemented.”

The Council has grouped all ten potential rezonings into one code amendment application to streamline the process and provide greater transparency for the community.

If approved, the rezoning would facilitate a wider range of housing, including rural living opportunities as well as accommodation and employment uses, on strategic sites located close to town centres.

The application states it would protect the productive farming land in the area and provide accommodation to reinforce the region as a strong tourism destination.

The code amendment proposal will soon proceed to the consultation phase, with the council undertaking further investigations with input from the local community later this year.

Further public consultation sessions will be held in mid-2024.

The Naracoorte News 21 February 2024

This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.

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