What is Council’s policy for land clearing when zoning land with a residential zone?

Short Answer

Before giving land an urban residential zone, Council generally assesses the impact of that zone on vegetation as though all vegetation will be removed. The developer then has to demonstrate that if this vegetation removal happened, a satisfactory environmental outcome would still be achieved. Having done that, the developer would generally be able to clear the urban residential zone when they develop it.

Long Answer

Council does not have a policy for land clearing associated with zoning land with a residential zone. A number of policies, plans and considerations apply. This includes planning, biodiversity and bushfire legislation.

As part of assessing a planning proposal, Council needs to consider what future development could happen on the land. Having done this, we then work out what the likely impacts of the future development could be.

In the case of urban residential zones (R1, R2 and R3) and other urban business and industrial zones, Council will assume that the land may be fully cleared when it is developed. The reason for this is not to force or even encourage developers to remove vegetation unnecessarily. Rather, it is to ensure that if this does occur the impact of that development outcome has been considered upfront. Council does not want to rezone land on the basis that vegetation will be kept, only to find that it ends up having to be removed when the land is developed.

In the case of the Inyadda Drive PP there is a further complication because the proponent is seeking to Biodiversity Certify the rezoning. This is a process where the impacts on biodiversity are considered fully in the PP process. If the impacts and offsetting are found to be acceptable by the Minister for the Environment (or their delegate), then the minister or delegate certifies the plan. Any development that is carried out in accordance with a biodiversity certified plan does not need to reassess the biodiversity issues. This has the benefit of ensuring that the biodiversity impacts are considered as a whole and locks in the conservation outcomes from the start.

If we assume that some of the Inyadda Drive PP site will be given an urban residential zone, then Council will need to consider the type of development that could happen within that zone. There would be an assumption made that vegetation within that urban residential zone may need to be removed for the development of the land to proceed. This would mean that the calculations for the biodiversity certification will need to show all biodiversity value of that part of the site being lost. The developer would then need to offset that impact through the state government credit scheme that sets aside other land to protect biodiversity. Some or all of that land may be within the rest of the Inyadda Drive site, depending on how the calculations come out.

If the plan were made with an urban residential zone and was certified, then the developer would be able to remove the vegetation if desired or needed to allow the development to proceed.


Will Bushfire Asset Protection Zones extend into environmental land?

Asset protection zones need to be within the development footprint. That is, whatever footprint is adopted must include the asset protection zones and the edges of the footprint are the extent of the land clearing. Council will not allow environmental zones to be used as asset protection zones. 


Has the new land owner asked for the PP to be amended?

Yes.

Council received a request from the proponent to amend the PP in early 2019.

Council undertook community consultation on the new landowner's proposed changes in March and April of 2019.  

Does Kylor still have a planning proposal at Manyana?

Kylor have sold their land holding at Inyadda Drive, Manyana. The new owner has advised Council that they will be pursuing the planning proposal that Kylor initiated over that land. The planning proposal will progress through the process but Kylor is no longer involved in the process.