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Proposed rural zone changes – have your say!

Zones logo - DPCDFrom the Department of Planning and Community Development website, I have gathered these links below to provide our readers with information about the proposed changes to zoning of land in Victoria and the opportunity for you to submit your comments (Public comment on the proposed zone reforms closed on Friday 28 September.). According to DPCD the comments need to be submitted by the 1 September 2012.

Farmers, residents, weekenders and business owners of all types from our beautiful Prom Coast Area, this is an opportunity to have your say. Even though the changes are at state level, nevertheless, the more comment submissions you make the better picture the planning minister’s office will have of what the people want.

Unfortunately, the Farming Zone still covers areas that have no farming associated with them which restricts building of dwellings in some areas. The South Gippsland Shire Council will probably be rezoning with these changes in mind but what still hasn’t been addressed is how large areas of land are ‘lumped’ into one large zone or another.

Follow these links below to make your own mind up:

Reformed zones for Victoria – Overview

Reformed rural zones – more relevant to our area.

From the DPCD website:

Reformed rural zones

Reformed zones for Victoria have been prepared to better respond to present-day requirements.

Improved rural zones will support agricultural activity, allow more tourism related uses and support population retention to sustain rural communities. Unnecessary conditions and the unnecessary prohibition of some land uses are removed and more permit exemptions are proposed for farming related activity.

What changes are proposed?

The existing rural zones are proposed to be amended to:

  • Support agriculture by making most agricultural uses ‘as of right’ instead of needing a planning permit.
  • Respect the rights of farmers by removing permit requirements for farming related development such as netting and crop support structures and increasing the farm building threshold exemptions.
  • Provide flexibility for farmers by allowing for the sale of farm produce without the need for a planning permit and removing restrictions on the sale of processed produce.  For example, an olive farmer can sell bottled olive oil to complement the sale of fresh olives.
  • Facilitate retail business by removing the prohibition on complementary retail uses, such as proposals for landscape gardening supplies.
  • Facilitate tourism uses by reducing or removing permit requirements relating to tourism uses.  For example, a residential hotel no longer has to be in conjunction with an agricultural use.
  • Make prohibited uses discretionary in all the rural zones.  For example, allowing a primary school or secondary school to be considered in a Rural Conservation Zone.
  • Cut red tapefor dwelling additions and outbuildings by increasing the permit exemption threshold for altering or extending an existing dwelling.
  • Provide flexibility for future subdivision by removing the limitation in all rural zones on future applications to subdivide a lot after an initial subdivision has been approved.

Go to the zone pages below to view the proposed rural zones:

  • Farming Zone
  • Rural Activity Zone
  • Rural Conservation Zone
  • Green Wedge Zone
  • Green Wedge A Zone
  • Rural Living Zone

What happens next?

After the comment period concludes and the zones are finalised, the reformed rural zones will be implemented into all planning schemes.