Draft defines urban land
THE draft planning scheme sets out an agenda designed to contain the urban footprint of the shire within defined boundaries, while leaving the door open to new development.
With Port Douglas and Mossman as the main drivers behind the Douglas Shire economy, the draft scheme seeks to contain both towns within their boundaries, while encouraging the strengths of both – tourism in Port Douglas and administration and rural services in Mossman.
“Expansion beyond this boundary is not facilitated as it does not support the efficient and orderly delivery of urban infrastructure,” the draft states.
While declaring both towns will not expand beyond the urban areas defined, the draft scheme leaves the door open for both residential and industrial expansion by laying out ‘investigation areas’ in three places.
Two are in Mossman, with an industry investigation area near the Mossman Mill and a residential investigation area between Mossman and South Mossman.
The third investigation area is in Craiglie, lying to the west of the Captain Cook Highway, with a ‘transport investigation corridor’ following the western border of the investigation area and to the west of the Craiglie industry area.
Considering land to the west of the highway at Craiglie for urban expansion would represent a significant change to previous plans, which have resisted such a move.
The draft concedes however that “some of these areas are not anticipated to be required until later in the planning scheme time horizon, if not beyond it.”
The draft scheme locks down the investigation areas with a litany of development requirements, making progress a slow process if they proceed beyond being investigation areas.
“No urban development is to occur within the residential investigation areas until a comprehensive structure plan has been prepared that provides for integrated, well-connected residential settlements, taking into account constraints, infrastructure servicing and capacity requirements, flooding and drainage, and sequencing.” Mayor Julia Leu said to the
that the ‘residential investigation area’, “means a particular location has been identified in the Proposed Planning Scheme as not being suitable for residential subdivision at this time as there are other locations throughout the Shire more appropriate for residential development.
“In saying that, an opportunity may still exist for residential development in a residential investigation area if the proponent is able to demonstrate this is the best outcome for our communities.”
Ms Leu also said that the transport investigation corridor was identified to “protect future transport opportunities to support the sustainable growth of the shire.”
The industry investigation area in Mossman allows for wriggle room for increased industrial activity should there be a need, with the draft scheme saying “any future expansion of industry is encouraged in Mossman rather than Port Douglas having regard to the high demand for land for tourism and residential purposes at Port Douglas and the role of Mossman as a commercial centre.”
The industry investigation area in Mossman North adjacent to the sugar mill is intended to “cater for the types of industry that may otherwise constitute an amenity nuisance in other industrial locations.”
The new industry investigation area would add to the already established areas in Mossman and Craiglie and the ‘marine orientated activities’ in Port Douglas.
Beyond Mossman and Port Douglas, Wonga Beach, Newell, Cooya Beach and “various other small towns, villages and rural residential land, including the land north of the Daintree River, are not intended to grow or increase in density.”
The strategic framework map for the Port Douglas and Mossman area. Clearly shown is the land west of the Captain Cook Highway at Craiglie highlighted as a potential development area, with the transport investigation corridor further west of the current road. Key: Green - natural/scenic area, yellow - rural, pink - urban - purple - industry, blue - town centres.
Elders with Liz Collyer and Julia Leu at Rex Smeal Park.