The Huon Valley Council last night agreed to apply to the Tasmanian Planning Commission for approval to withdraw the Draft Huon Valley Local Provisions Schedule (LPS).
The decision follows the tabling of the report under Section 35F of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 that contains 411 representations and recommendations made on the exhibited Draft Huon Valley LPS.
Acting Mayor Sally Doyle said there has been significant concern from the community regarding the LPS process.
“Councillors unanimously felt that preparing an alternative draft LPS would be the better option to take for our residents and the Huon Valley as a whole.
“We acknowledge the work that staff, particularly those in planning, have done to get us this far. They have worked under a lot of pressure, with minimal resources, to meet the statutory obligations.”
By directing council to exhibit, the Tasmanian Planning Commission confirmed the draft LPS complied with the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.
Acting Mayor Doyle said council exhibited the draft LPS longer than the required 60-day exhibition period due to initial community concern and provided information at six community workshops, on social media, via a letter drop to all property owners, and through the customer service centre.
“Our outreach to community was comprehensive however we acknowledge that with more time we can significantly improve community consultation. After all, it is a matter that impacts a lot of people who live here or have connections to the Huon Valley.”
Following last night’s decision, council, as the Planning Authority, will propose to prepare and submit a revised draft LPS.
Section 35I of the Land Use Planning Approvals Act 1993 allows for council to apply to the commission for approval to withdraw the draft LPS, provided the draft LPS has not been provided to the commission. Further to this, the Planning Authority must propose to prepare a further draft LPS for the same area to which the draft LPS that is to be withdrawn relates.
The final approval of withdrawal sits with the Minister of Planning.
Acting Mayor Doyle said Huon Valley residents have raised valid concerns with an apparent lack of inconsistency between different council’s application and assessment of the Local Provisions Schedules.
“We will ask the minister and the commission to provide clarity on this issue before we as a local planning authority can proceed with confidence and better involve our community in the statutory process.
“Strategic land use planning is essential to properly considering and communicating the risks and opportunities presented by the Tasmanian Planning Scheme. Our 2022-23 Budget includes investment of $674,000 to strategic land use planning primarily delivered through a Land Use and Development Strategy.
“This strategy will seek to address the state level strategic planning gap and provide evidence-based planning recommendations, including potential modifications or additions to the draft or endorsed Local Provisions Schedule,” Acting Mayor Doyle said.