Gympie Regional Council is expected to repeal two controversial planning changes which property owners said had locked up their land.
Gympie Regional Council is expected to repeal two controversial planning changes which property owners said had locked up their land.

Southside landowners to get building, subdivision reprieve

GYMPIE Regional Council is likely to backflip on flawed amendments to its planning scheme that blocked some Southside land owners from subdividing their land or even building on it.

The council’s staff have recommended councillors repeal two Temporary Local Planning Instruments it brought in over the last council term relating to Southside development and biodiversity protection.

Eight problems were identified with these new plans.

The council’s staff are recommending councillors undo the changes at next week’s meeting.
The council’s staff are recommending councillors undo the changes at next week’s meeting.

These included: the failure to exclude small lots from the TLPIs; that the plans were not based on an overall strategy for biodiversity; that the council was “using up resources investigating and sending out letters in regard to complaints about tree removal where there is little or no risk to biodiversity but the TLPIs must be applied”; and that “councillors were of the belief the TLPIs would not impact on rural areas”.

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Southside landowner John Buckley said late last year the amendments had locked up 80 per cent of his land on Eel Creek Road.

Staff also said there did not appear to have been a balance test applied, nor did the council appear to have taken into account plans for the Southside to be the region’s growth area.

John Buckley says the TLPIs locked up about 80 per cent of his land on Eel Creek Rd.
John Buckley says the TLPIs locked up about 80 per cent of his land on Eel Creek Rd.

“The current Temporary Local Planning Instruments are not aligning with the expectations

from council and property owners in relation to the expectation when they were

implemented,” the staff report said.

They recommend councillors vote to repeal these two TLPIs, and instead begin developing a Biodiversity and Koala Habitat Development Strategy.

Staff said a key starting point for this would be consultation with groups including private planners, developers, koala groups and farmers and graziers.