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State Planning Provisions a Land Grab For Developers

Rosalie Woodruff MP

Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Sunday, 15 May 2016

Tags: Statewide Planning Scheme, Planning

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Planning spokesperson

The deadline for submissions on the proposed State Planning Provisions is only days away, and communities and councils are waking up to what these dramatic changes will mean. 

Minister Gutwein’s proposed regime is a red carpet freeway for developers. Residents lose their opportunity to have a say. 

The new scheme ushers in an era of monotonous uniformity. Suburbs and towns will lose the distinctiveness that Tasmanians love.

The Minister’s “one size fits all” approach will lead to an uglier, higher, blander state. Where there once were trees and gardens, once were playgrounds and beaches not dominated by tall buildings, now there will be towns with heritage facades and people living eaves to eaves.

At a time when species loss is dramatically increasing, we need to strengthen our protection of the bush. The new scheme increases the area of land that can be cleared without a permit, and without regard to conservation values.

This was a rushed consultation for a 460 page document, designed to give no time for councils and communities to talk about the impacts on their local area. 

 

Greens councillors around the state spoke out today about their concerns for what the State Planning Provisions will mean for Tasmanians:

Councillor Richard Atkinson, Kingborough Council: “Most properties in the Rural Living Zone will move to the Rural Zone, meaning an abattoir or a cheese factory could be built close to existing properties. Environmental Living Zone 'bush blocks' could be sub-divided to a much higher density, and after bushfire hazard reduction there won’t be much bush left in the area.”

Alderman Emma Williams, Launceston Council: “There won’t be a Stormwater Code in the new scheme, which means councils can’t consider how the downstream effects of parking areas, commercial or unit developments.  We know from experience what failing to plan for stormwater leads to, and how expensive that ends up being for residents.” 

Alderman Bill Harvey, Hobart City Council: "Councils have pointed to a raft of issues that have to be fixed. If they’re not, then councils and the community have every right to be cynical of a rigged, rubber-stamping exercise by the Liberal government."

Alderman Kay McFarlane, Clarence Council: “We’ll be forced to re-zone some land that will leave people without the legal ability to build a house because the new zone won’t have the capacity to allow it. This planning scheme is unworkable, unfair to buyers, and not faster, cheaper or consistent in its outcomes.”

Alderman Helen Burnet, Hobart City Council: “Minister Gutwein's “one size fits all” planning system is a disaster for Hobart's heritage and unique areas. There will be more permitted uses that challenge the established patterns of development, trashing some of the important heritage buildings and areas of our beautiful city.”

Alderman Philip Cocker, Hobart City Council: “The new scheme will shut out the community and remove the influence of local government. We support greater residential density in cities and towns, but not without the people living there having a say. Increasing density is often contentious, but shutting out people who have issues with a development will cause distress and could be costly.”

Councillor Ian Mackintosh, Huon Valley Council: “The new planning scheme will kill off the very qualities that make our towns different. It’s the heritage buildings, bush vegetation, and low-level rural landscape that people want to visit and live in. We don’t want people saying this “was once a lovely place to live”.”

Alderman Anna Reynolds, Hobart City Council: “There will be less opportunity for people to have a say, and most decisions will be “permitted” instead of “discretionary”. That’s great if you’re a developer, and councils won’t be able to negotiate building heights, setbacks or block sizes.”