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Council adopts modern and responsive Planning Scheme

20 March 2017

Western Downs Regional Council now boasts one of Queensland’s most modern planning schemes after Council unanimously resolved to adopt the new Western Downs Planning Scheme at its Ordinary Meeting last Wednesday 15 March in Miles.

  • The new Planning Scheme and the Local Government Infrastructure Plan (LGIP) take effect today;
  • Council’s new Planning Scheme replaces six individual Planning Scheme’s for the region, streamlining the planning and development processes and further enabling business development across the region;
  • Council’s new Planning Scheme facilitates a 10 day turn-around from lodgement to decision, for applications that are a consistent use within a zone and comply with all relevant assessment criteria, reducing costs to applicants;
  • Development Applications are now no longer required for an Office or Retail outlet, where no, or limited, building work is needed within an existing commercial area. This means businesses can open and expand without Council requiring an application; and
  • Council has committed to undertake six-monthly reviews, and where necessary amendments, to ensure the Planning Scheme can respond to the changing needs of the region.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said that flexibility has been built into the new Planning Scheme so it can grow with the region and meet changing circumstances.

“We now have one of the most modern planning schemes in the State,” he said.

“By streamlining processes, so we can turn around Development Applications much quicker, we are cutting timeframes, cutting costs and creating certainty. This creates greater investment confidence.

“When you consider how much our region has grown over the last five years, it is critical that we have a Planning Scheme which is agile and responsive so it can adapt to our growing economy and capture all of the future opportunities which are certain to come.

“Council knows that a strong, growing economy means strong and growing communities across our region.”

Deputy Mayor and Spokesperson for Planning and Development Councillor Andrew Smith said Council was delighted to have one, clear, concise blueprint for planning and development across the entire region.

“The new Planning Scheme is a vital tool Council has at its disposal to promote, enable and facilitate economic development across the region,” he said.

“The Planning Scheme has been designed to significantly reduce red-tape, timeframes and to make development easier. This will help create new jobs, further lowering our already impressively low unemployment, and facilitate new business opportunities and investment.

“Council now has one Scheme for the region, meaning that regardless of where you live in the Western Downs the same provisions apply, providing consistency in the decision making process.

“Western Downs Regional Council is open for business, so come and talk to our Planning Team.”

For more information please call 1300 COUNCIL or to view and download the Western Downs Planning Scheme and Local Government Infrastructure Plan visit our webpage.

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Media Contact:
Cr Paul McVeigh | Mayor, Western Downs Regional Council | 0408 700 392

Cr Andrew Smith | Deputy Mayor, Western Downs Regional Council | 0438 755 896