The City of Swan Council has moved forward with plans to protect the rural character of the Swan Valley by initiating a change to its Local Planning Scheme at its Council Meeting on Wednesday night.
The change has been almost a decade in the making, with the City and state governments considering relevant planning laws over the years to determine measures to better protect the future of the area.
The decision proposes better regulation of land uses with the Swan Valley Rural Zone for the purpose of supporting the traditional agricultural activities and protecting the rural character of the area.
City of Swan Mayor David Lucas said the amendment is essentially a package of measures designed to preserve the unique rural character of the Swan Valley.
“The Swan Valley is a beautiful and irreplaceable asset, and our priority is to ensure its viticultural, agricultural and horticultural traditions are upheld and preserved for future generations,” he said.
“It is also our priority to ensure uses incompatible with the rural character and traditional agricultural activities of the Swan Valley Rural Zone – in line with the objectives of the Swan Valley Planning Act – are discouraged.
“We have proposed a package of measures we consider to be consistent with the recommendations of past government reviews.
“These measures will restrict certain land uses in the Swan Valley Rural Zone, including places of worship, because the proliferation of these uses will erode the rural character of the area.
“These land uses will still remain a discretionary use in other areas of the Swan Valley.
“There are already a number of places of worship in the Swan Valley Rural Zone and this amendment will not prevent their ongoing operations.
“The City is not prohibiting the exercise of religion in the Swan Valley Rural Zone.”
The proposed amendment will now be referred to the Western Australian Planning Commission and Environmental Protection Authority to determine that it is satisfactory before a 60 day public advertising process can occur.
The outcomes of public consultation will then be reported back to Council to determine if it supports or rejects the amendment, and then submitted to and the Minister for Planning who will make the final determination.