Colac Otway Shire is continuing its commitment to make it easier to build and develop by removing unnecessary planning permit triggers which will streamline the building process for landowners.
Colac Otway’s Planning Scheme previously included Environmental Significance Overlays covering the Warrion groundwater area and along the Barongarook Creek and Deans Creek, which required most development in those areas to require a planning permit.
The overlays also require landowners who wanted to lop or remove native vegetation to obtain a planning permit, which involved an additional cost to the landowner and delayed activities while planning applications were processed.
Colac Otway Shire Mayor Cr Jason Schram said Council’s Planning Department had been identifying areas where the planning process could be streamlined to make development easier for landowners and improve efficiencies without having a negative impact on the shire.
“A review of the shire’s planning scheme in 2018 identified that by deleting the Environmental Significance Overlay Schedule 1 Warrion Groundwater Area maps and updating the overlay schedule covering lakes, wetlands and watercourses, many landowners would no longer require a planning permit for certain works.
“For example, the process for a landowner to gain permission to build a shed or extend their home could be quicker and easier because they will not necessarily need a planning permit. Removing vegetation on some properties might also no longer require a planning permit.
“The Warrion Groundwater Area overlay covers 1,300 properties from Pirron Yallock to Lake Corangamite, up to Cundare and across to the Colac-Ballarat Road.
“The changes to the mapping covering properties along the Barongarook and Deans Creek areas will continue to protect the waterways while eliminating unnecessary planning permit requirements where possible.
“The benefit of both changes is that for some properties it will remove all overlay controls, and all permit requirements for proposed farm buildings, whilst for others it will result in less complicated processes for owners in seeking planning approval.
“Council placed the planning amendment on public exhibition for six weeks and received no submissions.
“The planning scheme changes which aim to streamline development have been adopted by Council and are now with the Minister for final approval.
“Development and growth will be extremely important for our community and Council will continue to look at areas where we can improve the process for landowners while protecting the shire’s environmental assets.”
Landowners can visit Council’s website at wwww.colacotway.vic.gov.au to learn more about requirements and applications and are encouraged to contact Council’s building and planning team on 52329400 to discuss their plans.