How council might ban future rural land sharing communities
Tweed Shire Council will this week consider a move to ban rural land sharing communities within the shire.
If it receives support, this could block future multiple occupancy communities from being established in the future.
One such community has been slated for the Mount Burrell area, but that proposal is in its early stages.
The council endorsed a “precautionary approach to additional housing in rural areas” when it adopted its Rural Land Strategy in May last year, planning staff said in a report to the council.
“Whilst the demand for rural landsharing communities (RLSC) is not high, more recent RLSC are increasingly taking a significantly larger form and scale, more akin to large lot residential development, and in areas where subdivision and additional housing may not currently be permitted”, the council’s staff said in the report.
“They are increasingly spanning over multiple lots, rather than a single lot.”
The council’s staff said such communities “seem to be moving away from their former intent”.
“While appropriate in purpose and function when RLSC, or multiple occupancies, were first recognised a form of living in the early 1970s, personal and community attitudes have changed to the point now that the concept of shared living has given way to a focus on rural living and lifestyle opportunities,” they said in the report.
“There are concerns that this increase in form and scale is not in keeping with the intent of the RLSC provisions, are outside council’s local growth management and planning, may have an increased impact on the environmental quality and may cause problems with infrastructure and servicing now and into the future.
“Due to the range of issues confronting RLSC and attempts to establish rural residential development through the RLSC pathway, the RLS proposes to ensure that no further RLSCs are possible.”
They said for existing legal rural land share communities, the council proposes to “support a change of tenure where possible to resolve some of the current issues confronting these communities”.
The council’s staff have proposed the Tweed Shire be removed from the State Environmental Planning Policy and allow for a “growth management and housing strategy to better define where housing might be appropriate in the shire and especially in rural areas”.