Bass Coast,

Council Adopts Rural Land Use Strategy

Bass Coast Shire Council voted to adopt the Rural Land Use Strategy at Wednesday night’s Ordinary Meeting.

The strategy was initially deferred at Council’s June meeting for two months to allow for consideration of all submissions received and to commence drafting of policies to implement the intent of the strategy. Council received 269 submissions in total.

The recommendation before Council was to adopt the strategy subject to inclusion of changes proposed in the report. The changes proposed were reductions to three of the minimum lot sizes for which no permit is required for a dwelling, and a reduction of the minimum lot size for subdivision on Phillip Island. It was also recommended that Council undertake the work outlined within the strategy; this included the development of policies to form the basis of a planning scheme amendment.

Cr Jordan Crugnale initially moved the recommendation in the agenda, and Cr Andrew Phillips then moved a motion to reduce all permit and subdivision sizes to 40ha in the Farming Zone. Both were defeated.

Cr Phil Wright moved a deferral motion until November, which was also lost.

Cr Neil Rankine then moved motion to reduce the lot size for dwellings to 40ha but retain the minimum subdivision size in Precincts 1 and 2, and reduce the minimum subdivision size to 40ha in Precinct 3. This was carried.

“The crucial part of the strategy is to preserve large lot sizes to ensure sustainability of farming into the future,” Cr Rankine said.

After the meeting, Cr Rankine commented the decision was a good compromise between Council and the farming community.

Council’s Planning and Environment Director, Hannah Duncan-Jones, said it was good to see several members of Council’s Rural Engagement Group in the gallery on the night.