STAWELL - Northern Grampians Shire Council is excited by the prospect that a new residential development could take place in Stawell.
Council has adopted an amendment to its Planning Scheme in relation to the rezoning of both private and Crown land and has sent the amendment to Planning Minister Matthew Guy for approval.
The rezoning of the land, in a prime location in Stawell, would allow for residential development to take place.
The amendment applies to several parcels of private and Crown land close to the Western Highway.
Council is seeking to rezone about 21.9 hectares of private land from rural living to residential.
The private land to be rezoned is bordered by Longfield Street to the north, Sloane Street to the west, Holloway Road to the south and Grant Street to the east.
The Crown land to be rezoned is bounded by King Street to the north, Cahill Road to the south, Grant Street to the west and High Street to the east.
Council's decision to apply for the rezoning came about after Mr Guy set the wheels in motion to reduce some of the red tape surrounding planning issues.
The land in question had been earmarked for development several years ago by council, but red tape prevented it from progressing.
Mayor, Cr Wayne Rice, said he welcomed the possibility of a new development taking place in Stawell.
He said it was particularly pleasing that motions such as this would be acted upon quickly by the government now that red tape has been removed.
"The Minister has the view that if council passes a resolution, he shouldn't stand in the way," Cr Rice said.
The land to be rezoned adjoins existing residential areas and can be provided with appropriate infrastructure services such as water and sewerage supply.
All the land is accessible to the existing road network, including the Western Highway and Sloane Street.
"That in itself opens up plenty of opportunities and makes the site attractive to potential developers," Cr Rice said.
"The land will be close to the Western Highway and also to Sloane Street, which is a main thoroughfare through Stawell. It will also be located just 1.8 kilometres from the Post Office."
Cr Rice said the development would complement the Western Highway duplication and provide some spectacular views for occupants.
Town Planner, Jodie Senior, said the land had been selected by consultants due to a number of key factors relating to potential for urban growth.
* The subject land proposed in this amendment to be rezoned from Rural Living to Residential 1 is located in a suitable location for future expansion as it abuts the existing Residential 1 Zone, and its proximity to Stawell's town services and its suitability for further subdivision leads this site as an appropriate location for new urban growth.
* The rezoning area satisfies the EPA's requirement for a 500 metre buffer around the former Hill Street Landfill.
* The rezoning is in accordance with and supported by the Strategic Framework Plan for Stawell under Clause 21.05 - Settlement of the Northern Grampians Planning Scheme and has strategic support under Council's Municipal Strategic Statement.
"Based on the above, the rezoning of the subject land is a logical and appropriate outcome for the town's urban growth," Ms Senior said.
"The focus of attention for providing access to the subject land for development would be primarily on Sloane Street and Cahill Road and to a lesser extent from Holloway Road. The relatively open nature of the southern portion of the subject land offers much fewer constraints on development and would present as a better opportunity for standard residential densities of development to apply compared to the more naturally constrained northern parcels of land."
Ms Senior said the development would also bring numerous benefits, including:
* Provide additional housing choice within the township of Stawell and for the wider region.
* Provide continuity of services from existing residential zoned and developed land.
* Reinvigorate housing opportunities.
* Provide investment opportunities.
* Provide proper and orderly planned residential area with ability to generate population and economic growth.