The panel report on the Bass Coast Rural Land Use Strategy, realeased last week, stated that the council had reasonable grounds for believing the recommendation was supported since no opposing submissions were lodged to the proposed rezoning when the draft land use strategy was put out for public comment in 2013.
However, it recognised the considerable opposition and the environmental qualities of the land, and recommended it should remain in the farming zone until further environmental investigations have been undertaken.
“The Panel considers the opposition to the rezoning compelling ... there is little likelihood of realising compatible development outcomes given the opposition to the rezoning.
“The Panel is concerned to ensure that the environmental qualities of the land are not compromised. It is concerned that the environment ‘may’ be unduly compromised should the rezoning proceed.
“For these reasons and having considered the sum of the background material and the content of submissions presented during the hearing, the Panel has determined that the proposed Rural Activity rezoning should be abandoned at this time for all areas in the Gurdies other than the ‘Fantasia Site’.”
This was the only major change to the strategy recommended in the panel report, which will be considered at the council meeting on August 17.
The panel report supports the application of rural activity zones in Coronet Bay-Corinella and Inverloch-Cape Paterson; and the rural conservation zone and environmental significance overlay to the Rhyll Wetlands study area. The new zonings are proposed to support a range of different uses including rural-based tourism as well as protecting areas of significant environmental quality.
The panel report also supports proposed new local polices to give land owners and decision makers clear direction when seeking and assessing planning permit applications within the farming zone. The policies relate to rural subdivision, rural dwellings and non-agricultural uses in the farming zone.
The report is available on Council’s website at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/c140 and at any of the Bass Coast service centres.