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Rural Land Use Strategy to be consider by East Gippsland Shire Council with aim to balance agricultural support and environmental protection

East Gippsland Shire Council will reconsider a draft Rural Land Use Strategy to support agriculture while protecting the environment. The strategy allows for dwellings if necessary for farming activities.

By news@gippsland - 17th July 2023 - Back to News

East Gippsland Shire Council will reconsider its draft Rural Land Use Strategy on Tuesday, July 25. The draft strategy was considered by council in early June, but a decision was deferred so that councillors could further consider the opportunities and implications. The draft strategy has the goal of creating a vision and planning framework that supports agriculture, rural industries and tourism, as well as protecting East Gippsland's environment, culture and landscape.

East Gippsland Shire Council reconsiders draft Rural Land Use Strategy to support agriculture, rural industries, tourism, and environmental protection

East Gippsland Shire Council reconsiders draft Rural Land Use Strategy to support agriculture, rural industries, tourism, and environmental protection

Sustainable rural development

Ultimately the aim of the strategy is to ensure that the subdivision and development of land in East Gippsland's rural areas is consistent with Victorian Government policy so that farming land continues to be available for farming into the future.

Council's General Manager Place and Community, Stuart McConnell, said farming plays a pivotal role in sustaining the economy and character of East Gippsland, underscoring the importance of protecting it at every scale - whether it is large grazing properties, high value horticulture or smaller, niche farming enterprises.

"Importantly, the draft Rural Land Use Strategy does not prevent dwellings being constructed in the Farming Zone if required to support agricultural activity, but if adopted a planning permit will be required for dwellings on properties less than 80Ha," Mr McConnell said.

Flexible dwelling regulations

Mr McConnell also said, "It has been incorrectly reported that the council will not allow people to build a dwelling on a lot less than 80Ha. The draft Strategy is clear that it supports the construction of a dwelling if required to operate a farming enterprise. Also, land use rules for 40Ha or less do not change, contrary to some information circulating in the community."

"Currently a permit is required for a dwelling on less than 40Ha. If the dwelling is required to support the farming activity it will likely be supported (subject to other requirements). The draft strategy outlines various situations where a permit for a house on a property of less than 80Ha sited in a farming zone may be granted," he said,

Planning scheme adoption

Mr McConnell added that if adopted, the strategy will not have legal effect until it is incorporated in the East Gippsland Planning Scheme. "To be incorporated into the East Gippsland Planning Scheme, the proposed changes to the scheme will need to be formally exhibited as required by legislation and any person affected will have the opportunity to make a further submission."

"It is likely that such submissions would be considered by an independent planning panel appointed by the Minister for Planning before recommendations are then considered by council before a final decision by the Minister for Planning," he said.

Information on the draft land use strategy is available on Information Sheet Draft Rural Land Use Strategy page.

Pictures from East Gippsland Alliance Facebook page.


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