Bega Valley Shire Council is about to launch a land-use guide for the region designed to cover the next 20 years.
The new Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) will shape how Council plans for growth within the Shire.
Council says, the LSPS will outline planning priorities aimed at maintaining the special characteristics which contribute to local identity and shared community values, particularly the economic, social and environmental planning issues that affect the whole of the Bega Valley Shire.
Council’s Manager Planning and Sustainability, Keith Tull, says the document is forward-thinking to ensure sustainable growth is properly managed.
“The statement brings together important information about our unique environment, the character of our communities, our cultural identities and our economy to set priorities for building a prosperous and liveable Shire,” Mr Tull says.
A number of individual elements which feed into the LSPS are currently in development, including a Commercial Land Strategy, a Residential Land Strategy, a Rural Living Strategy and Aboriginal cultural heritage mapping.
The Rural Living Strategy outlines Council’s strategic direction for rural living opportunities and identifies land that can be considered for rural residential rezoning in the future.
The Residential Land Strategy will guide future residential development across the Shire in terms of land requirements, diversity of needs and preferences, location of residential development and housing supply and mix, including affordability.
The Commercial Land Strategy will provide a flexible framework for the future development of our town centres that is sympathetic to their unique character and help plan for opportunities for local economic development and employment generation.
The Aboriginal cultural heritage mapping being undertaken will improve the protection and promotion of Aboriginal cultural heritage by identifying areas within the landscape that are culturally significant or contain Aboriginal archaeology.
Transport, housing, open space and recreation, the natural environment, our changing climate, the character of our towns and villages and local Aboriginal culture are all themes.
Council says there will be a range of opportunities for local people to contribute to the development of the LSPS and its supporting strategies over the coming months. Various elements will go on public exhibition from October.
Dr Alice Howe, Council’s Director of Community, Environment and Planning acknowledges the fatigue some in the community might have towards such process but says, “we are absolutely mindful of the work people have done to date.”
“These are evolving documents, but we know that people are interested in what their community will look like in the future.
“This will tidy up some of the inefficiencies and conflict between various existing documents.”