Panel to look at shire rural zoning issues

AN independent panel will be appointed to consider submissions into a proposal to change planning zones in rural parts of Wellington Shire.

Wellington Shire Council will pass on 27 submissions into Amendment C55 of the Wellington Planning Scheme to a panel appointed by State Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

Through the amendment, council sought to update rural zones with a view to protecting agricultural, timber producing and other rural pursuits from residential development and incompatible development.

The amendment will also be used to protect water supplies in the north of the shire by requiring a planning permit for subdivisions and other developments.

Under the amendment, agricultural land in the Wonnangatta and Dargo river valleys will be rezoned from rural conservation to farming, accurately reflecting the use of this land.

Four parcels of Crown Land parcels in the Dargo area will be changed from rural conservation zone to the public conservation and resource zone.

Areas with similar land forms and uses would be grouped, while a new local rural policy would be included in the Wellington Planning Scheme, guiding the use and development of land within rural areas.

Councillor Bob Wenger said since council adopted the amendment in 2009, it has raised issues which affect land owners.

“There were many areas which were covered in the original farming zone and there have been a number of objections,” he said.

“By bringing this forward now, with a panel to be appointed, it takes controls out of council’s hands and gives the ratepayers an opportunity to have their say before an independent panel.

“I believe this will satisfy a lot of people.

” There’s been a lot of uncertainty and anxiety with a lot of these people, and I’m sure this will help reduce that.”