Planning scheme passes but not without dissenters
THE Douglas Shire Council approved the Douglas Shire Planning Scheme 2017 which, in part, does not approve the rezoning for a proposed retirement village on the western side of the Captain Cook Highway on Ferrero Road, Craiglie.
Speaking against the Planning Scheme as presented, Cr Michael Kerr said he made an election commitment and said that if this development did not proceed, future employment opportunities would be impeded.
The land under consideration is part of an area currently zoned as Residential Investigation Area.
Council’s Planning Coordinator, Mr Simon Clarke, explained it would be inappropriate to rezone this land at this time as “we have not done thorough investigations” and that the Scheme is not just about one development proposal.
“It is not appropriate to rezone any area unless there is more investigation into all the issues,” Mr Clarke said.
Mr Clarke mentioned there was a major electrical sub-station near the proposed development and matters around this need to be considered as well as erosion and flooding issues.
Cr David Carey also questioned matters regarding low and very low residential zones, as the land in question is currently zones Residential Zone 1, Low Intensity.
Mr Clarke explained how there is no particular zone that caters for retirement villages however this particular land is to be included in a Residential Investigation Area in the Strategic Framework to enable this investigation.
“There are a number of existing large lots in Port Douglas which are zoned as being available for retirement village purposes without the need to rezone land on the western side of the highway,” Mr Clarke said.
It was noted by Mayor Leu that there were no provisions for high care or intensive care for residents in the development proposal.
“I am not convinced this proposal is appropriate but now the onus is on the proponent to convince us otherwise,” Mayor Leu said, “and I believe by approving this Planning Scheme as it stands is the best outcome for our community.”
Some discussion centred on the matter of vegetation management and Mr Clarke indicated that a stronger Vegetation Management Code will be drafted as “there are too many holes in the present Code”.
The Mayor explained to the meeting that as there is likely to be a state election towards the end of the year, a decision now would assist in having the Scheme approved by the state authorities.
“How much longer will it be further delayed if we have an election,” Mayor Leu said.
Other matters that were discussed in relation to the Scheme included submissions in support of a Special Entertainment Precinct in Port Douglas.
Cr Carey spoke to this matter and proposed an amendment to the Scheme to include an Entertainment Precinct as an “integral component of the draft Scheme”.
The amendment lapsed for want of a seconder.
“On that basis, I am not voting for the recommendation (to pass the Scheme as presented),” Cr Carey said.
Three Counsellors voted for the Scheme to be presented to the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Mayor Julia Leu, Cr Noli and Cr Zammataro whilst Crs Kerr and Carey voted against the motion.
No zoning change: The proposed retirement village site at Craiglie