Council moves to boost industry

MEMBERS of the community will have the chance to have their say about creation of new industrial land in Maffra, Stratford and Yarram.

Wellington Shire Council will request permission from the State Planning Minister to exhibit Amendment C74 of the Wellington Planning Scheme for public submissions.

The amendment shows recommended changes to industrial land zones in the three towns.

In response to a 2007 State Government audit which identified the three towns had insufficient land available for industrial development, council commissioned a strategy. The strategy, with the recommended changes to zoning, was adopted in 2011.

Council will exhibit the strategy before implementing it.

In Maffra, it is recommended in the amendment that land on Stratford-Maffra Rd be investigated for industrial zoning. Further consultation would be required for buffer zones, drainage and traffic access before rezoning is done.

Part of this land has already been identified for future housing.

It is also recommended that an adjacent piece of land be rezoned from farming to industrial 1 zoning. A design and development overlay has been proposed to guide future subdivision and development.

Land at the corner of the Princes Highway and Stratford-Bengworden Rd in Stratford is to be investigated in regard to the type of industrial use, traffic access, drainage and servicing before rezoning.

In Yarram, land on the western edge of town could be changed from farming to industrial 1 zoning with a DDO proposed to address constraints, servicing, connectivity and buffers prior to approving a rezoning application.

An adjacent area to be investigated for future rezoning.

Another recommendation is that the Carter Holt Harvey mill be rezoned from farming to industrial 1 to better reflect the current use of the site and foster business confidence. With 57 staff, the mill is one of Yarram’s biggest employers.

There have been noise complaints from surrounding houses, the closest 150 metres away. The company has undertaken necessary site works and has limited hours of operation to minimise these impacts.

Under the new zoning, Carter Holt Harvey still has to apply to council for any changes to the existing planning permit or lodge a new planning permit application.

Any future application would need to consider off-site impacts and relevant Environment Protection Authority noise guidelines. A DDO is proposed to be applied to help guide future buildings and works on the site.

Councillor Darren McCubbin said the amendment would address the scarcity of industrial land in Stratford, Yarram and Maffra, which had been noted some time ago.

“Council is very serious about opening up new land for industrial development. We see the important of these towns and the importance good industrial land has for the development of the town,” he said.

“For example, within Yarram and the mill area, that mill area is central to the development of jobs within the township of Yarram, it needs to have an appropriate boundary zoning around it.”