Early in October, BODC held two “drop-in” sessions of 3 hours each at St Marys and St Helens to display the BODC staff’s proposals for zoning of the municipality for the new Tasmanian Planning Scheme.
The zoning map is one of the main components of the local application of the state-wide Tasmanian Planning Scheme which will replace the current BODC 2013 Interim Planning Scheme. Other components will include Specific Area Plans, Code lists and overlays, and other local components. The local components are called the Local Provisions Schedule, LPS.
The staff’s map is marked DRAFT and is not available except by inspection at the Council Offices at St Helens. BODC would not allow the map to be publicised. There is no before-and-after comparison information, so it is difficult to see where changes have been made.
The next steps of public consultation are vague and not defined but eventually the LPS staff package will be presented at a BODC meeting before sending to the Tasmanian Planning Commission for their appraisal and approval BEFORE formal public review.
The public review period of 8 weeks is unlikely to occur before early next year. In the meantime, the draft map can be viewed at the Council building in St Helens.
The new BODC Planning Scheme has 19 planning zones.
Generally, there will be a one-to-one transfer of like zones between the existing scheme and the new scheme. Although most of the names of zones remain the same, some conditions of the zones are changed. The changes provide a relaxation on development generally that will mostly likely lead to a form of low-density ribbon development along the east coast of Tasmania.
Generally, there is a relaxation on controls across the board, characterised by shifting some Discretionary Uses to Permitted Uses as well as expansion of Discretionary Uses.
For instance, in Low Density Residential, Visitor Accommodation will now be Permitted rather than Discretionary, and Food Services (cafes, restaurants) will be Discretionary.
Other major changes are the disappearance of some zones and the creation of new zones:
In general, but apparently not always, the Environmental Living zone is replaced by the Landscape Conservation zone.
Discretionary Uses under Landscape Conservation will be expanded to include:
Essentially this means much of the current Environmental Living zone along the coast could be sub-divided into 50 ha lots which can be developed for Tourist Operations and Visitor Accommodation. A form of low-density ribbon development?
It is interesting to note in a letter to residents in May 2016, the BODC Mayor stated:
“In regard to the maintenance of the 1km prohibition zone; The prohibition of a subdivision within 1km of the high tide mark is currently only in place in our region and has been part of the BODC Planning Scheme since 1996 when it was adopted by Council voluntarily. This clause was based on the recommendations of the Tasmanian State Coastal Policy, 1996. This policy is currently under review. Since then BODC has fought to keep this requirement in place, including strongly advocating for the retention of this control in our submission to the draft Statewide Planning Scheme. This is evidenced in the April, 2016 Council Meeting Agenda, referenced below. . . .
“Currently the BOD Scheme limits the potential of coastal strip development by prohibiting subdivision in the ELZ of new lots within 1km of the High Water Mark in accordance with the State Coastal Policy 1996. If the minimum lot size were to be reduced under a Local Planning Provision then this restriction would need inclusion to complement this allowance.”
Council will always be bound by State Legislation and will fight to have the views and interests of our community considered but once the Government signs off on the new planning scheme we will have to work within this framework whether we are in agreement or not.”
It seems the fight for the 1 km zone and the State Coastal Policy are being abandoned by BODC. If the 1 km zone is to be protected, surely it could have a Specific Area Plan overlay.
A major change proposed in the LPS is the re-zoning of Rural Resource zone into either of two zones: Rural zone or Agriculture zone.
In the current Rural Resource zone sub-divisions are limited to 100 ha. In the new Rural zone, the sub-division is limited to 40 ha (with minimum frontage of 25 m), and in the new Agriculture zone sub-division is virtually eliminated by allowing only consolidation of lots.
So, it can be expected that vast areas of rural land will now be available for sub-division into smaller lots, like the old Environmental Living sized lots. Residential, Visitor Accommodation and Tourist Operations will all be Discretionary in Rural zones.