What was the outcome of Council's Ordinary Meeting 22 August 2019?

    The Draft Large Lot Residential Chapter was presented to Council at its Ordinary Meeting of 22 August 2019.  The unconfirmed minutes are below:

    RESOLVED (Cr George Cecato / Cr Sally Townley)

    That Council:

    1.Adopt the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy – Chapter 6 Large Lot Residential Lands (Attachment 1) subject to retaining the existing requirement for horticulture to require consent in the R5 zone.

    2.Seek endorsement from NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy – Chapter 6 Large Lot Residential Lands pursuant to Direction 24 of the North Coast Regional Plan 2036.

    3.There be an immediate review of Council’s Fees and Charges such as to ensure that they are fair and reasonable for proponent based applications for an amendment to the Coffs Harbour Local Environment Plan 2013 as amended having regard to the number of landowners constituting the proponent, the area of the land involved and the proposed number of lots in any relevant subdivision.

    4.That within the next 3 years Council identify those parts of the Korora, Sapphire and Moonee Candidate Area which, subject to water supply and sewerage services are suitable for rezoning to Residential Zones R1, R2, R3 and or R4. 

    5.Notify Council’s decision to those who made a submission to draft Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy – Chapter 6 Large Lot Residential Lands.

    For:  Crs Knight, Arkan, Cecato, Rhoades and Townley

    Against:  Cr Amos


    What is 'Large Lot' development?

    Large Lot (also known as rural residential) development refers to land that provides for low density residential development in a rural setting, while preserving and minimising impacts on environmentally sensitive locations and scenic quality.

    Large Lot residential lots are larger than typical residential lots, but are usually too small for agricultural use.

    Because of its primarily residential function, large lot development requires access to most of the normal services and infrastructure provided in urban settlements. Typically it also generates urban residential amenity expectations.

    Why are we undertaking this Review?

    Council adopted the Coffs Harbour City Rural Residential Strategy in 2009 as part of its Local Growth Management Strategy (LGMS). It replaced a 2002 strategy.  The 2009 strategy included a two-stage land release program that looked at supplying land to the market over twenty years. 

    Stage One of this program (Bonville) was the only candidate area endorsed by the then NSW Department of Planning. That land in Bonville has now been rezoned for Large Lot residential purposes under Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013 (LEP 2013). It has an estimated yield of approximately 350 lots.

    It was always intended that the 2009 strategy would be reviewed in ten years as part of a general review of the LGMS. The information to be reviewed includes current demographic information and updated housing needs, likely future trends, policy changes supported by Council, and the North Coast Regional Plan 2036. 

    In February 2018, Council resolved to “Expedite a review and update the land release program and recommendations of the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy – Rural Residential Component 2009”. Council has consistently supported the retention of the Korora, Sapphire and Moonee candidate area in its LGMS for Large Lot residential landuse, where environmental constraints allow.

    Which areas are we reviewing?

    Stage Two of the land release program in the 2009 strategy was a candidate area known as Korora, Sapphire and Moonee. It was identified for release post 2019. Over the last few years Stage Two has been the subject of a detailed local environmental study, which indicates that its lot yield may be limited to about 75 in three small precincts. It was previously thought to have a yield of approximately 250 lots. 

    Other land identified in the 2009 strategy that had potential for rural residential development was identified as “deferred for future review”. Large pieces of this land were located at Nana Glen, Coramba and Karangi, as well as a small area at Corindi Beach. Council has not initiated any further detailed studies of the areas “deferred for future review” to date.

    What are the challenges in planning for future large lot residential housing?

    The biggest planning challenge is meeting overall housing opportunities for the Local Government Area. This includes balancing the demand for rural living choices, but also planning for future housing within a compact city model. This means focussing on infill and urban renewal, and optimising Greenfield developments to deliver housing stock and lifestyle benefits.

    Large Lot residential development requires special consideration as it can have environmental, social and economic costs that are significantly higher than those of standard residential development. It takes up a lot of land per dwelling and results in extremely low density housing. It will not always be possible to release new large lot residential land as population increases and land supply dwindles.

    What is the Locational Criteria?

    The mapping undertaken in the 2009 document remains relevant for identifying land potentially suitable for Large Lot residential purposes. This mapping excludes the following areas from consideration for Large Lot residential purposes:

    ·  land identified in the LGMS for urban purposes;

    ·  land mapped as regionally significant farmland;

    ·  land within the 1 in 100 year flood extent;

    ·  land mapped as Class 1 and 2 acid sulphate soils;

    ·  land with regionally significant scenic qualities (Korora);

    ·  land on the prominent ridgelines of Korora;

    ·  land of ecological significance; and

    ·  land with a slope in excess of 20%.

    It also excludes areas affected by multiple constraints such as:

    ·  Drinking water catchments;

    ·  Moderate to high vulnerability to groundwater sensitivity;

    ·  High value vegetation;

    ·  High bushfire risk;

    ·  Significant interface with National Parks, Nature Reserves and State Forests;

    ·  Land close to extractive industries;

    ·  Land which may impact on the function of the Pacific Highway (and its intersections) as a major traffic distributor;

    ·  Land remote from urban areas and social infrastructure; and

    ·  Land with a low capability of onsite wastewater disposal.

    The North Coast Regional Plan 2036 provides the following additional criteria:

    ·  No new Large Lot residential areas east of the Pacific Highway; and

    ·  Large Lot residential development is to be directed away from important farmland including small Lot primary production areas such as horticulture in Coffs Harbour.

    Will my property be rezoned at the finalisation of this Strategy?

    No. If any land for Large Lot residential purposes is included in the adopted and endorsed LGMS, it will still need to be rezoned to enable it to be used for Large Lot residential purposes.

    If the LGMS recommends an area be zoned R5 Large Lot Residential, the rezoning may not be initiated by Council because of other factors or constraints (this could include such matters as costs to infrastructure upgrades, or the different access to properties). 

    In this case, a landowner may seek to prepare a site-specific Planning Proposal (known as a 'Proponent-Led' Request to amend Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013), so as to amend planning controls to rezone land for future Large Lot residential purposes.

    Once land is rezoned R5 Large Lot Residential under the Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013, then a development application can be lodged with Coffs Harbour City Council to subdivide and erect dwellings on that land at the permitted density.

    What are the steps involved in a rezoning process?

    Once the LGMS is endorsed by both Council and the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, land is able to be rezoned. This means that it would then be possible to amend the current planning controls to rezone identified lands to Zone R5 Large Lot Residential under Coffs Harbour LEP 2013.

    This is done via a Planning Proposal in five steps (NSW Department of Planning and Environment 2018):

    1  The Planning Proposal – preparation of the Planning Proposal to amend the current planning controls to rezone land. The costs of preparing the Planning Proposal, inclusive of background studies, and lodging the request for LEP amendment with Council are the responsibility of the land owners (this is known as a Proponent Led request to amend the LEP). If endorsed by Council, the Planning Proposal is then sent by Council to the Department of Planning and Environment.

    2  Gateway – the Minister for Planning (or delegate) decides whether the Planning Proposal can proceed (with or without variation) and subject to other matters including further studies being undertaken, public consultation, public hearings, agency consultation and timeframes. 

    3  Community Consultation – the Planning Proposal is publicly exhibited as required by the Minister. A person making a submission may also request that a public hearing be held.

    4  Assessment – Council reviews public submissions, and decides whether to continue to support the process. Parliamentary Counsel then prepares a draft Local Environmental Plan amendment.

    5  The Making of the LEP – with the Minister’s (or delegate’s) approval, the Local Environmental Plan is published on the NSW legislation website and becomes law.

    These five steps usually take at least twelve months to complete and can take more than that if site-specific studies have to be prepared.  

    Once land is rezoned R5 Large Lot Residential, then a development application can be lodged with Coffs Harbour City Council to subdivide and erect dwellings on that land at the permitted density.