Close to 300 allotments of Gunnedah Shire land will be rezoned to better meet the needs of primary producers.
Gunnedah Shire Council yesterday approved the rezoning of privately owned land greater than a 5km radius of the town of Gunnedah from C3 environmental management to RU1 primary production.
Gunnedah Shire Council Director Planning and Environmental Services Andrew Johns said the change better represented the existing primary production land use of approximately 300 allotments.
“Council has had, for some time, representations from the owners of C3 environmental management land who have been frustrated by a change in zoning which was undertaken in 2012 that restricted what could be done with their land,” Mr Johns said.
“That change came about following recommendations through the Gunnedah Rural Strategy that identified the need to protect our scenic hills, including Blackjack Mountain. The independent strategy recommended the implementation of a special zone for this purpose at the 450m contour line and above.
“This change will return that land to a zone that better reflects the land use and the zoning that was in place before 2012. It has been a long process that resulted in approval of the zoning change planning proposal by the Department of Planning and Environment last year, and then public consultation, along with consultation with public authorities.
“It’s a good result. Environmental protection is always important to Gunnedah Shire, but this zoning restricted certain development on lands that have traditionally been cultivated or grazed. This change will allow additional permitted uses subject to development consent and will also now allow some uses to be undertaken without consent, and unlock economic benefits in this area.”
Council has endorsed the amendment to the Gunnedah Local Environmental Plan 2012 to reflect the zoning change.