Council is currently reviewing and updating its Local Growth Management Strategy – a key document that governs how we plan for population growth over the next 20 years while protecting valuable environmental, agricultural land and neighbourhood character.
The strategy is broken up into different chapters and the first chapter to go out for public exhibition looks at Rural Lands and their use. It will be out for community comment and input from December 12 2018 until February 28 2019.
With living in a rural area an increasingly popular lifestyle choice, the Rural Lands Chapter devotes considerable attention to a range of actions to manage land use conflicts – such as those caused by intensive plant agriculture – while preserving the distinctive character and values of our rural areas.
“In recent years, there have been changing expectations about the way people want to live, work and enjoy rural areas, as well as changes in our agriculture and rural tourism economies,” said Chris Chapman, Council’s Director Sustainable Communities. “We have also developed a better understanding of the connection between human actions and its effect on our environment.
“To preserve the distinctive character, values and economic capacity of our rural areas for future generations, a more holistic strategy for all rural land uses is required. Council is very aware of the significant contribution that intensive plant agriculture makes to the local economy. This relatively sudden change to the local industry has reinvigorated many rural properties across the Coffs Harbour local government area.
“However, this has generated wide discussion – particularly the conflict between intensive plant agriculture farming and the wider community. We found that this was one of the most significant issues identified during preliminary public consultation already undertaken.
“The existence of many small, rural-zoned land parcels and homes dotted across the rural landscape has amplified the potential for this kind of land use conflict.
“The Rural Lands Chapter looks at this issue in detail and suggests strategies and actions to guide rural policy and land use that is aimed at helping reduce future conflicts.
“These actions propose amendments to planning controls, evidence and data collection, working with state government and industry groups and improving communications about the realities of living in rural environments. I’d urge people to take a look at the Chapter and give us their feedback.”
You can make your voice heard by going to the Draft Rural Lands Chapter 5 page on Council’s Have Your Say website where you can find out more about the first two stages of the draft strategy and make an online submission. Written submissions can also be sent to Coffs Harbour City Council, Locked Bag 155, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450.