Pro­posed zon­ing changes spark con­cerns

Chinchilla News - - FRONT PAGE -

WESTERN Downs Re­gional Coun­cil is up­dat­ing its plan­ning scheme for the re­gion, but not ev­ery­one likes the changes.

Part of the pro­posed amend­ment in­cludes re­zon­ing Chinchilla land to low- and medium-im­pact in­dus­trial land, al­low­ing in­dus­try closer to res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

Chinchilla res­i­dent Shay Dougall is un­happy with the changes and said medi­u­mim­pact in­dus­try could ac­com­mo­date a “wide range of in­dus­trial uses that are likely to have po­ten­tial for off-site im­pacts” un­der the zone code.

“So it’s just, as usual, the Western Downs Re­gional Coun­cil are mak­ing ridicu­lous changes with no con­sid­er­a­tion to the lo­cals.

“The end of that re­port (the amend­ment) says that they want to change what is cur­rently low im­pact into medium im­pact, they want to in­crease the area that’s avail­able … all to at­tract high-im­pact and hard-tolo­cate in­dus­tries, that’s their ob­jec­tive.

“So what will come with that is noise, dust, traf­fic.”

Mrs Dougall said de­spite liv­ing al­most next door to what would be re­zoned as in­dus­trial land, she re­ceived no of­fi­cial no­ti­fi­ca­tion.

In a state­ment, coun­cil said it was “com­mit­ted to en­abling the eco­nomic growth of the re­gion and de­liv­er­ing bet­ter live­abil­ity for our com­mu­nity”.

Western Downs coun­cil­lor Donna Ashurst said the coun­cil’s pri­or­ity was to sup­port lo­cal pros­per­ity.

“When we brought in the new plan­ning scheme back in 2017, we com­mit­ted to on­go­ing re­view. Our cur­rent plan­ning scheme is sound, but we know that im­prove­ments are needed from time to time to keep it rel­e­vant for our com­mu­nity.

“We gen­uinely need to have more land to sup­port the growth of in­dus­try and jobs in our re­gion.

“All af­fected prop­erty own­ers have re­ceived let­ters from coun­cil ex­plain­ing what the changes mean, and we’ve had some re­ally con­struc­tive talks so far.

“It is im­por­tant that coun­cil has a solid plan in place to man­age the growth and change of our re­gion, while main­tain­ing the qual­i­ties which make the Western Downs spe­cial,” Cr Ashurst said.

Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion for Amend­ment 1 of the plan­ning scheme will end on Fri­day, Novem­ber 30.

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