Some months ago Nambucca Shire Council passed a resolution relating to horticulture in areas zoned R5 (rural residential).
The resolution contained a number of amendments to council’s Development Control Plan (DCP) intended to remove or reduce conflict between residents in rural residential areas and the activities of neighbouring farmers pursuing horticultural development.
The resolutions were drafted after consultation with council’s planning staff and were designed to cover a number of different situations, including how close to existing houses horticulture could be carried out, how close to existing plantations new houses could be built, what buffers were required and which landowner needed to provide them (there are different buffers for different situations).
After considering the final resolutions of those proposals, staff formed the view that these were inconsistent with the NSW Department of Planning guidelines and were unlikely to be approved by the department.
It became clear that significant restrictions would have to placed on one development or the other (ie: residential or horticultural) and given the primary purpose of rural residential zoning is residential, the axe has fallen on horticulture.
Accordingly council resolved to alter the Local Environment Plan (LEP) such that development applications are now required to carry out horticulture within rural residential land.
Council’s DCP already requires applicants to provide a 150 metre buffer around the perimeter of the property within the property (or an 80 metre buffer with a forty metre vegetative buffer within that 80 metres).
Conversely no residential development would be permitted within 150 meters of an existing plantation (or within 80 metres with a forty metre vegetative buffer).
People need to know so they are not buying land and subsequently finding they can only use half of it for what they want to doCr Brian Finlayson
The DCP remains unaltered and the proposed amendments were abandoned.
Cr Brian Finlayson pointed out the creation of these buffers would severely restrict the areas available for either sort of development and in the case of smaller blocks, might reduce the amount of land actually available for development by 50 per cent or more.
“If this is consistent with state planning requirements then Council probably has no choice,” Cr Finlayson said.
“But there is an urgency in making the public aware of this so that we do not have to deal with situations where people are buying land and subsequently finding they can only use half of it for what they want to do.”
He said this probably meant there would be no more horticultural development in areas zoned R5 (rural residential).
Council has not placed any restrictions on horticulture in RU1 and RU2 (agricultural) zonings.