A new residents group has emerged at Beaumaris on the East Coast with an area of interest between Winklers Lagoon to St Helens Point Road.
Beaumaris is part of the East Coast which has been subjected to ribbon development over many years. The pressure is extensive and unrelenting. Last year consultants for the Break O’Day Council preparing a Land Use & Development Strategy proposed re-zoning a 13.4ha parcel of land at Beaumaris to Low Density Residential. Only recently the owners of this land have found out about this proposal, long after the Strategy has been endorsed by the Break O’Day Council. Apparently the owners were not consulted about the proposed re-zoning and do not want their land re-zoned.
Then late last year the consultants suddenly recommended incorporation of a 4ha parcel of land at Beaumaris, next to the above parcel and currently zoned Environmental Living, to be re-zoned as Low Density Residential. This recommendation was ostensibly based on historic applications, some dating back to 1981, and all of which had been rejected by the Town and Country Planning Authority, (precursor to the Tasmanian Planning Commission). These related events demonstrate the pressure applied by the development lobby, often in league with local councils and planning consultants, to pursue ribbon development.
In addition, the Draft State Planning Provisions raise the prospect of the Break O’Day Council further expanding ribbon development.
Consequently, the Beaumaris Action Network (BAN) has been set up and has adopted the following coastal planning principles:
Sub-division exclusion zone
The Beaumaris Action Network are committed to maintaining the current prohibition of the 1 kilometre exclusion zone for subdivision outside urban zones along the East Coast in the Break O'Day municipality.
Friends of the East Coast Inc supports this law in the current BODC Planning Scheme, which has been supported by the Tasmanian Planning Commission since 2005.
In the current Draft State Planning Provisions it is proposed that the current Environmental Living Zone be abolished and renamed Landscape Conservation Zone.
However, residential use will be discretionary in the Landscape Conservation Zone and it is likely that BODC will attempt re-zone current Environmental Living Zone areas as Rural Living A or Rural Living B. Worse would be to re-zone current Environmental Living Zone areas as Low Density Residential Zone.
This re-zoning process will arise when local councils develop their Local Provision Schedules. It is likely to be a battleground with residents if the BODC fails to implement a fair and comprehensive public consultation process.
No infrastructure expansion
Coastal areas are inherently unsuitable for economic sewerage reticulation. This is because natural gravity flows are towards the coast while settlements are usually along the coast. This makes collection and treatment of wastewater expensive, requiring multiple electric pumps, and treatment plants to be located near sensitive water courses. In BODC's experience, sewerage treatment plants have caused environmental problems and proven unreliable as well as expensive.
It is far more environmentally sensible to utilise on-site wastewater and stormwater disposal, but this requires adequate lot sizes and suitable soils. Therefore higher density urban development is unsuitable for coastal areas.
It is obvious the East Coast settlement areas have limited and unreliable fresh water supplies. Catchment areas are polluted by developments and treatment plants are unreliable.
In addition, large tourist resorts demand water and sewerage infrastructure expansion funded by local councils. Local residents are then forced to connect to make the systems viable.
Friends of the East Coast Inc supports the Beaumaris Action Network demand for no expansion of sewerage and water infrastructure outside current extents.
Break O'Day Council Responds
BODC has responded to Beaumaris residents concerns with a letter to Beaumaris residents on 23 May 2016. The letter attempts to sooth community concerns by re-assuring residents the Land Use & Development Strategy is a "framework for future planning, not a concrete plan". BODC also re-affirms the 1km prohibition zone against sub-division in the Environmental Living Zone.
Read the BODC letter here:
Beaumaris Discussion Paper
The Beaumaris Action Group (BAN) has prepared a Discussion Paper for residents responding to the BODC letter. Read the BAN Discussion Paper here: