Dangers ahead for Falmouth In recent years change has happened to Falmouth, a small settlement on the upper East Coast of Tasmania.
Once a sleepy holiday location with fewer permanent residents than houses and blessed with no through road, Falmouth is now experiencing changes similar to what is happening in many locations throughout Tasmania.
Change is happening for a variety of reasons, including:
Some of the recent changes specific to Falmouth include:
However, the Falmouth community continues to resist some developments which would change its historic character, viz:
But pressures for change continue.
In September 2017 there was a proposal to develop a vacant block by building two dwellings. One dwelling would presumably be for AirBnB rental and the other for owner occupation.
The application proposed multiple dwellings on a single block which characterises the change that is happening at Falmouth. The current planning scheme provides for multiple dwellings as a discretionary use, i.e. it is not a right.
The Low Density Residential Zone provisions of the BODC Interim Planning Scheme 2013 v14, specifies the purposes of the Zone as:
In Falmouth, without reticulated water, stormwater and sewerage systems, the minimum site area per dwelling must be 2,500 m2. That is, for two dwellings the minimum block size must be 5,000 m2. The above Development Application block has an area of approximately 2045 m2.
The application for two dwellings would succeed if the Council deems the following conditions apply:
Importantly, there is no absolute minimum site area per dwelling if the above conditions are met. Approval of this development would add to further similar developments as it would be an addition to the pattern of non-complying development, i.e. setting precedent.
As two out of the above three conditions are based on judgement values it is important that community views are considered in the decision making. Significantly there is no provision on the Interim Planning Scheme to protect waterfront views from excessive developments. The maximum height of developments (8.0 m from natural surface) is the same whether the site is on a hill or on the waterfront.
In the proposed new statewide Tasmanian Planning Scheme due to come into effect in 2018, the provisions for multiple dwellings in a Low Density Residential Zone are similar to those in the current BODC Interim Scheme except for the following:
That is, the Development Application had a chance to be approved under the current planning scheme, but would have no chance of approval under the proposed new Tasmanian Planning Scheme. It’s was a case of get approvals while you can!
After community submissions, the owners decided to withdraw their Application. In November 2017 they made a new Application which is discussed here:
Dangers ahead for Falmouth