Draft new Whitsunday Regional Council Planning Scheme
In April 2013 Council commenced preparation of the draft new Whitsunday Regional Council Planning Scheme. The new Planning Scheme is intended to replace the existing Planning Schemes that apply to the former Bowen and Whitsunday Shires.
Council is developing the new Planning Scheme in order to move towards a more consistent approach to undertaking and regulating development within the region. It has been prepared to support our unique opportunity for growth and economic progress in balance with our vibrant and extraordinary environment.
Key factors the draft planning scheme takes into account include:
- Increases in population;
- Growth in the tourism and agricultural industry;
- The proposed Port of Abbot Point expansion; and
- Development of the Whitsunday Coast Airport to international status.
The new draft Planning Scheme supports an exciting future for the Whitsundays, providing for liveable communities and housing diversity; economic growth; the protection of environment and heritage values; reduced hazards and increased safety; and an efficient transport and infrastructure network.
Council is committed to undertaking significant consultation with the Whitsunday community and stakeholders throughout the process of preparing the new Planning Scheme. As a result Council has made a copy of the draft new Planning Scheme available to the community prior to the commencement of formal public notification.
The plan making process
The new Planning Scheme will be prepared in accordance with State Government legislation that regulates planning and development, including the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. It is expected to be completed over the course of three years, as there are a series of steps and activities that need be undertaken during this time.
On the 12 November 2014 the Council resolved to adopt the draft new Planning Scheme for the purpose of undertaking statutory State interest review.
This represents the completion of the Stage 1 in the process of preparing the new Planning Scheme.
Why has the draft new Planning Scheme been released now?
Typically a new Planning Scheme is provided to the community as part of the formal public consultation stage (Stage 3), which is carried out after the State interest review (Stage 2).
Council have opted to release the draft new Planning Scheme early to provide greater transparency and to assist the community in considering the draft new Planning Scheme early in preparation for the formal public consultation period due to be in early 2015.
Can I make a submission?
The early release of the draft new Planning Scheme does not form part of the formal public consultation period. At this stage Council encourages the community and stakeholders to become familiar with the draft document; however formal submissions will not be requested until the public consultation in early 2015.
Will the draft Planning Scheme change?
Yes, following the State interest review Council will be required to make adjustments to the current draft new Planning Scheme. As a result of these comments an updated Planning Scheme will be prepared and provided for public consultation.