Ratepayers speak out on new LEP

ABOUT 1600 ratepayers made submissions to the Lismore City Council on its draft LEP, a councillors’ workshop was told on Tuesday night.

The council’s strategic planning co-ordinator, Paula Newman, said most of the submissions concerned rural and environmental zones.

About 70 of those making submissions requested that the council’s newly-appointed ecologist inspect their properties to ‘ground truth’ their claims.

The controversial LEP was on public display for four months, including a one-month extension.

Mayor Jenny Dowell expressed concern that many of the claims made by people opposed to the LEP were based on false information.

She cited the example of farmers being told by members of the public that under the new LEP they would be forced to fence off their rivers and creeks.

“This simply isn’t true,” she said.

Councillors agreed to a four-step process developed by council staff to consider all submissions before the final LEP is sent to the State Government for approval.

Stressing the importance that ‘all submitters are heard’, council’s manager of integrated planning Steven Denize said as part of the process all submitters would be invited to speak at a series of workshops with councillors.

Those concerned about rural and environmental iss-ues would be first off the rank, he said, with workshops likely to start in late October or early November.

This will be followed by a staff analysis of all written and verbal submissions, including the development of options by February next year.

Councillors will then be briefed on the options and recommendations in March/April.

The final stage in the process will be in May/June when a recommended final LEP is presented to council forapproval. It will then be sent to the Department of Local Government for gazetting.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited design of the new Nimbin skate park has been released. It will form the basis of areport to go to council next Tuesday.

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