Donnybrook planning scheme questioned
AN Irishtown resident has raised concerns that special control areas imposed on land around established Donnybrook stone deposits will prevent any kind of development on that land.
THE Donnybrook-Balingup Shire Council’s Local Planning Scheme (LPS7), voted through Council last year, included provision for the special control areas of 500m around established Donnybrook stone to minimise land use conflict between residential and mining areas.
Irishtown resident Simon McInnes told Council at last week’s ordinary meeting he believed council members and residents were given inadequate information on the consequences of the special control area around established deposits of Donnybrook stone.
Mr McInnes said residents who raised concerns about the special control area were assured by the council planning officer, as well as the Shire President and other councillors, that the only consequence on the implementation of the special control area would mean a referral to the DMP should an application for subdivision be submitted to council.
“Residents were told that new titles created within a buffer zone would include a notation on the title informing the prospective purchaser that a mining operation may be in the vicinity,” he said.
“Although the residents were not happy they were reassured there would be little impact on any future plans for subdivision or any other land use.
“Further investigation has shown the DMP has a policy to restrict any development within a special control area.
“It is clear from the DMP policy on expansion in a special control area that it is unlikely any new titles would be created as the recommendation to council would always be not to allow any expansion.
“The town planner would have or should have been aware that a referral to the DMP would result in a negative response due to DMP policy and should have informed the residents of this at the meeting – questions were raised and answered and no mention of this fact was brought to light,” Mr McInnes said.
“If the councillors were not aware of this fact then they were not fully informed of the ramifications of voting through the LPS7, which included the implementation of a special control area on private land.
“The result of imposing a buffer zone on private land will be the inability to subdivide land that could have previously been subdivided – the value of the land has been reduced substantially through the retrospective implementation of a special control area on private land,” Mr McInnes said.
Mr McInnes said the special control areas should be removed from the LPS7 and the balance of the document sent to the Western Australia Planning Commission (WAPC) for review.
“My house is included in a special control area. It’s been imposed. Not just on my property – there are 280ha, all surrounded by residences,” he said.
Donnybrook-Balingup shire CEO John Attwood said depending on the proposal, there would be no problems with someone in a special control area building small infrastructure like a shed on their land.
However a subdivision would have less chance of being approved.
“The objective is to ensure land use and management is compatible with the long-term use of stone resources,” he said.
“The Shire gives advice, but the WAPC makes the ultimate decision after referring to all those departments.”
Mr Attwood said the same conditions applied to anyone who made a subdivision application prior to 2009.
“Under the previous rural strategy in 2009, the same conditions applied,” he said.
“There is an assumption we wouldn’t promote new rural/residential areas around established Donnybrook stone.”
He said there were 229ha of established Donnybrook stone in the shire.
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