After years of wrangling and debate, community submissions and state government interventions, the Byron Shire Local Environmental Plan (LEP) has been finalised by Council staff and is on its way to Sydney for state government approval.
Councillors voted last Thursday to sign off on the 114-page planning document that defines land usage, developments and zonings in accordance with state government requirements.
Council’s media spokesperson said it also corresponds with the shirewide Development Control Plan (DCP), which is still being prepared.
But there are some omissions to the LEP – coastal, E2 and E3 environmental zonings were left out as the state has yet to finalise those parameters.
Last year the state government intervened to prevent five north coast councils from applying the environmental zonings in areas where similar protection did not already exist.
The policy could see some movement in the real estate market: Council staff have included provisions enabling community title (CT) subdivision of approved multiple occupancy developments, which is again subject to state government approval.
Additionally Council will seek a future amendment to the LEP to allow two (detached) houses on rural land, similar to an initiative announced by Lismore Council, with the intention of allowing farming families to implement succession plans without parents having to find somewhere else to live.
While the minimum lot size is yet to be determined, it will be reported to Council prior to being sent to the NSW Department of Planning.
Mayor Simon Richardson said at Thursday’s Council meeting that he and general manager Ken Gainger recently met with NSW planning MP Brad Hazzard in Sydney and told him that funding advice for ground truthing, or mapping, had still not been received by Council from the planning department.
‘He was shocked to hear this,’ Cr Richardson said, and he expected Mr Hazzard to reply soon.