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At last week’s Council meeting, Whitsunday Regional Council resolved to waive the developmentapplication lodgement fee for some development applications assessable under the 2006 BowenPlanning Scheme due to flood and storm surge constraints.
Mayor Jenny Whitney said the waiving of fees under some specific circumstances is a direct result of Bowen community and industry feedback received since the expiry of the Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) in December 2014.
“If the original TLPI was replaced with the new TLPI which was proposed in September 2014 many of these applications would never have been needed, however the expiry of the original TLPI has seen the return to the implementation of the old Bowen Planning Scheme which has been in place since 2006,” she said.
“Following consultation it was identified in some instances development applications areconsidered ‘low risk’ and therefore an opportunity exists to reduce regulatory obligations,” she said.
Council will now waive lodgement fees for development applications for a Material Change of Use (MCU) where:
a) Development is within the Storm Surge Hazard area but not within an area identified on themapping developed from the 2004 Storm Tide Studyb) Development is wholly contained within an existing buildings within the Don River FloodPlain or Storm Surge Hazard areac) Development consists of minor works such as building work of less than or equal to 50m²within the Don River Flood Plain or Storm Surge Hazard area
Mayor Whitney said ultimately, these issues will be resolved in the new planning scheme currently being developed for the region.
“Until this time development applications should be lodged to Council in the standard manner with an additional cover letter stating that a waiver of the application fee is being sought,” she said.
“Council officers will then confirm whether the relevant fee waiver requirements have been met.
“The amendment of the fees involved with flooding and storm surge is a direct result of feedbackgained from the community through consultation.
“This is another example of Council adopting a more consultative approach and listening andacting on community concerns.”
The mapping developed from the 2004 Storm Tide Study is available to the public on Council’swebsite at /208/Bowen-Planning-Scheme-2006
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