Ballina plan controversy not over
BALLINA Shire Council's draft Local Environmental Plan could still be sent back to the council for changes, says Local Government Minister Don Page.
Mr Page said he was hoping to meet with staff from the Department of Planning and Infrastructure staff this week to raise "a couple of concerns" about the LEP.
"I have met with the Mayor (Phillip Silver) and two senior planning staff from the council," he said.
"There are a couple of issues I need to seek clarification on.
"So this week I will be talking to the department about those issues before I make my position clear.
"The issues are mainly to do with the conversion of agricultural land to the E2 or E3 zoning, and whether that is going to affect the value of that land or the capacity of landowners to continue doing what they do on that land.
"If, after speaking with the department, I come to the conclusion that perhaps the draft LEP needs to go back to the council I will make that representation to the Mayor."
Cr Silver has told Mr Page that if he has concerns about the LEP he will call an extraordinary meeting so that councillors can consider the issues again.
The council's strategic services group manager, Steve Barnier, said that staff were continuing with the LEP process as normal "at this stage".
"We have no instruction otherwise at this time," he said.
Mr Page said it was important to make sure the LEP was right.
"This is a very important document for the future of the Ballina Shire," he said.
"But I agree that the template which councils have had to use has made things difficult - I have been critical of it.
"It assumes that all councils have the same issues, which is clearly not the case."
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