Murray River Council has commenced the process of delivering a new Draft Murray River Local Environment Plan (LEP); another major step in planning for growth and development across the area.
A Draft Murray River LEP 2021 was considered by Council at its final meeting of 2020 and has been developed as an interim document to bring consistency to planning and development across Council in the shorter term.
The document is a consolidation of the two separate planning instruments Council currently operates under; being the Murray Local Environmental Plan 2011 and the Wakool Local Environmental Plan 2013.
Mayor Chris Bilkey said while both LEPs were similar in some respects, there were different standards of land uses set out in each.
“We have been one Council since 2016, however in many aspects we still experience a level of separation in decision making as a result of the two operating LEPs,” the Mayor said.
“This single draft LEP will simplify the planning process for the community and help to ensure consistency across the region as soon as possible.”
In drafting the document, he said council officers had made a direct comparison between all land use tables, clauses, definitions and Schedules in each LEP to establish similarities, differences and errors.
Council said the intent of the draft Murray River LEP was to generally apply the least restrictive option for permissible development where differences have arisen between standards.
Cr Bilkey said it was important to note that the draft Murray River LEP 2021 cannot propose amendments that are major changes and require strategic justification or further investigation, such as amendments to standards, lot sizes, zoning and riverfront land use – among other things.
“These major changes will be investigated as part of future amendments to the LEP, informed by a suite of strategies that council will be undertaking in the next 18 months,” he said.
“This current draft is about enabling consistency in development standards in the shorter term.”
Public submissions and consultation in relation to the draft Murray River LEP will occur in early 2021.
A planning proposal for the draft Murray River LEP 2021 will now be drafted and presented at a future meeting of Council for endorsement, followed by submission to DPIE for Gateway determination and public engagement.