BAW Baw councillors heard submissions from over 20 locals on the implementation of the shire’s settlement management plan in a public meeting last week.
Above: click the play button to hear the report.
Reporter: The plan lays out a raft of changes to the council’s planning scheme and sets the direction and location of residential growth in the region, which has been experiencing a property boom for a number of years.
Mayor Murray Cook says the amendments are being made with a mind to the area’s rural feel, which was raised by a number of submitters as an attraction.
Murray Cook: The state government have said we have to have 15 years of residential land ready to go at any one time, and I hope whjat it means for the residents is that council is doing that but doing it in a considered way so that we maintain our rural aspect.
Reporter: Councillor Cook also says the balancing of requests from the public with state government and growth requirements was a big task.
Murray Cook: Yes it is, but the staff are very good at explaining things in layman’s terms that we can understand. What we don’t understand, we just keep asking questions until we come to grips with it.
Reporter: Baw Baw’s Director of Growth & Economic Development says the majority of growth will be around major towns Warragul and Drouin, but dealing with how present residents feel about that growth will be difficult.
Matthew Cripps: Probably the biggest challenge that we have is there are a large number of submitters who wish to be included in the settlement area, there are a number of people that see the increased settlement area as potentially having a detriment to their areas as well.
Reporter: Planning Central Director Glenn Kell, who represented a number of submitters at the night’s meeting, said he believed the council was doing the right thing in difficult circumstances.
Glenn Kell: Yeah, I think council is. Council are in a very difficult position and I think one of the key issues here is that different projects are at different stages, and different projects also need different levels of detail and to consider all land development visions, or parcels, in the same way is a bit of a challenge that council’s experiencing at the moment.
Reporter: Council staff will review the scheme before it is next put to councillors some time later this year.
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