The new Charters Towers Regional Council Town Plan is a step closer to formal adoption.
Framing the new integrated Town Plan has been a work in progress since the amalgamation of the former Charters Towers City and Dalrymple Shire councils in 2008.
At amalgamation the new Charters Towers Regional Council inherited the existing Town Plans of both councils.
Deputy Mayor Wally Brewer says a significant number of obstacles have been encountered by successive councils in developing the new Town Plan.
“The work on formulating and adopting this new Town Plan is behind schedule,” says Cr Brewer.
“We apologise for the delay however there are significant reasons for this happening. A previous council was working on a model put in place by the then Bligh ALP government,
“There was then a change of state government with the LNP administration in office. That government changed the ground rules that local government was required to work with in developing their town plans so a lot of the content had to be changed.
“Council has also had to await finalisation of State Government Resource Mapping including bush fire and flood zone mappings as same comprised constraints within all planning schemes as required by the various State Government agencies,” he says.
Cr Brewer says the proposed final Town Plan is now in draft form.
“The document will now be sent to the State Government for their approval,” he says.
“Provided no changes are required by the State Government, it will be returned to Council to be released for public consultation of residents and stakeholders.
“Council is then required to take into consideration any comments or objections as made by its constituents for final determination of the Scheme content,’’ says Cr Brewer.
Town Plans are written by Councils to regulate the way land is used and developed in an orderly, progressive manner.
The new Planning Scheme will not differ markedly from the existing two schemes with respect to rural and rural residential areas although there will be an emphasis on facilitating easier processes for developers with regard to industrial, commercial and higher density residential development within the bounded area, surrounding the CBD.
Additionally, industrial development within the Cunningham Industrial Estate area will become much easier. Planning applications will not be required if and when proposals satisfy the provisions of the relevant planning scheme codes as outlined in the proposed Scheme.
A further focus will be on reducing red tape for property owners to facilitate tourism related developments on traditional rural lands.
Plans and re-organised zoning of the Airport Precinct will lay the groundwork to facilitate future development in that area
Cr Brewer says when this process is completed the new Town Plan, which incorporates the Charters Towers Airport Master Plan, will be put before a general meeting of Council for adoption.