BREAK O'DAY Interim Planning Scheme 2013
The current BOD Interim Planning Scheme contains special provisions for Falmouth which will permanently change the character of Falmouth. This clause appears to be relatively unknown to Falmouth residents, but is now being used by property developers in a current Development Application in Falmouth.
Friends of the East Coast Inc are concerned that the Break O’Day Council has not previously consulted with Falmouth residents about this clause, despite numerous meetings between Council officers and Falmouth residents in the past few years.
The specific clause (12.2) concerns commercial visitor accommodation which is not within an existing dwelling.
Commercial Visitor Accommodation in Falmouth
As indicated above, commercial Visitor Accommodation is currently a Discretionary Use only in Falmouth and Binalong Bay, within the Low Density Residential Zone. Clause 12.2 Interim Planning Scheme.
The reason why Falmouth and Binalong Bay alone are currently open to commercial Visitor Accommodation is a mystery. The Break O’Day Council has not informed Falmouth residents and landowners of this facility in the 2013 Interim Planning Scheme. The Council has consulted with the Falmouth community on a number of occasions in recent years, but this significant clause on the planning scheme has not been discussed. So much for transparency! However, developers are fully aware of this facility and by using it are changing the very character of Falmouth.
In September 2017 the BODC received a Development Application for 2 dwellings on a 2,045 m2 block in Falmouth. The Application was for a small studio residence (Residence 1) and a large 4-bedroom residence (Residence 2) which was to be used commercially for short-term rentals.
After receiving numerous submissions from close neighbours and the public, the Application was put on hold. In late November 2017 essentially the same proposal has been re-submitted with a new Development Application.
However, the same buildings are given different names now. The Studio has become the Residence, and the 4-bedroom residence has become Visitor Accommodation. The purpose of the changed names is to avoid complying with the requirements for Multiple Dwellings, and also to take advantage of the special facility for Falmouth (and Binalong Bay) to allow commercial Visitor Accommodation as a Discretionary Use.
The new Development Application has the audacity to claim “This proposal does not include multiple residential dwellings”. The 1-bedroom dwelling and a 4-bedroom dwellings looks like two dwellings to any rational person.
If a building has 4-bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a fully functional kitchen, a laundry, numerous decks, a two vehicle carport, independent water storage tanks, independent waste water disposal system, a separate driveway, it is obviously a residential dwelling. As they say, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, it probably is a duck. Calling it visitor accommodation is just a convenience to avoid assessment as a second dwelling.
The Development Application proposes the 4-bedroom dwelling is a non residential building, and proposes it complies with the requirements for Non Residential Buildings in the BOD Planning Scheme.
It should be noted that commercial type Visitor Accommodation is defines as:
“use of land for providing short or medium term accommodation for persons away from their normal place of residence.”
Examples of this type of accommodation are given as:
It is difficult to fit this building neatly into the above categories.
This Development Application appears to be a somewhat sneaky attempt to obtain approval for two dwellings simply by calling one building visitor accommodation and thereby claiming that building to be a non-residential building. This is a form of “gaming” the system.
Public comment on this proposal is open until 5pm on Friday 8 December 2017.
The DA can be downloaded from the Break O’Day Council website:
Friends of the East Coast Inc. encourages residents and friends of Falmouth to submit their views on this Development Application to the Break O'Day Council.
Representations must be submitted before 5 pm on 8 December
by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and referenced with DA 208-2017
or in writing to:
The General Manager, Break O'Day Council
32-34 Georges Bay Esplanade, St Helens TAS, 7216
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