The broad objective of a Rural Land Study is to balance the zones available in the Victorian Planning Provisions to the needs of the key rural land uses: agriculture, biodiversity, tourism, natural resource use; recreation and cultural heritage, whilst allowing for flexibility and innovation, reducing future land use conflicts and avoiding fragmentation of land used for farming across the whole Shire.
The Rural Land Study has now being finalised and was adopted by Council on 11 February 2014.
The adopted Rural Land Study made a range of recommendations including:
• To retain the current 40 hectare minimum lot size for subdivision and for a dwelling without the need for a permit across the main broadacre farming areas of the Shire;
• To retain the Farming Zone over the Harcourt horticultural area including the current 40 hectare minimum lot size provisions;
• To undertake further work to investigate the potential for any wider application of the Rural Conservation Zone to recognise and protect biodiversity and landscape values;
• To undertake policy changes to the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) to recognise significant productive agricultural land in the Shire, and to protect water catchment resources; and
• To conduct further work to expand the application of the Environmental Significance Overlay for biodiversity protection and enhancement, and biological connectivity.
The Recommendations of the Rural Land Study can be read on pages 88-90. See link below.
Further information on the adopted Rural Land Study is available:
1. In hard copy from Council offices at the Civic Centre, Corner Lyttleton and Lloyd Streets, Castlemaine;
2. By post upon request by telephoning Council's Strategic Planning staff on 5471 1700; and
3. By reading the additional reports on this webpage.