The Douglas Shire Planning Scheme will be reviewed in one of the most significant initiatives since the new Council came into effect on January 1.
The review of the planning scheme will involve extensive consultation with key stakeholders including the general community over the next 15 months.
Mayor Julia Leu said the former Douglas Shire Council adopted the current planning scheme in September 2006 and the purpose of the review was to introduce a new scheme which better reflected the community’s wishes with a greater strategic focus on planning outcomes.
“The planning scheme determines the role of land use planning in achieving our desired economic, social and environmental objectives,” Mayor Leu said.
“It is important to develop and emphasise a strategic focus which underpins our decisions, something the current planning scheme lacks.
“This involves developing a Douglas profile examining regional context, physical setting, history, people and settlement and economy, examining the key local drivers of change, and then developing planning strategies that are oriented toward delivering community and economic outcomes.
“The preparation of a new planning scheme for the Douglas Shire also represents an opportunity to develop a more localised regulatory framework to address existing and emerging environmental, economic and social issues and to further implement Council’s vision for the Douglas community.
“The de-amalgamation process highlighted the strong bonds that many in the Douglas community feel for the Shire.
“Alongside many of the standard desirable planning objectives, a need to preserve and build upon the unique sense of identity and place that gives each community its strong sense of spirit is one of the most important planning goals for Douglas.”
The two-phase approach to developing a new planning scheme has already begun with a review of the 2006 Douglas Shire Planning Scheme.
Council workshops on key planning policy issues and strategic direction will be conducted over the next six months, with Council to also undertake informal, targeted and general consultation on the draft planning scheme later this year.
General consultation on the draft planning scheme will occur over several months early next year, with the intention to adopt a new planning scheme by August 2015.
A copy of the report outlining Council’s reasons for reviewing the planning scheme and the process to be undertaken is available on Council’s website www.douglas.qld.gov.au.