Strategic Land Use

Land Use Planning in the Shire of Carnarvon

The strategic land use planning function is essentially concerned about the planned allocation of land use and the planning of movement networks. It is undertaken in a way that expresses or reflects a community’s or region’s vision and aspirations for its future growth and development, to be achieved over a specified period of time.

The strategic land use planning process is required to:

  • anticipate the future development needs of an area;
  • identify relevant development issues;
  • identify opportunities for and constraints to development;
  • identify areas which are suitable/unsuitable for different types of land uses and development;
  • make proposals for the way in which the area should develop over time; and
  • establish policies and standards to guide land use and development.

These actions and tasks and the resulting outcomes are generally embodied in a strategic land use plan (or plans), which essentially, is a road-map that sets out the way for a community or region to attain its vision.

A strategic land use plan can be produced at any geographic or spatial level – for a municipal district, for a metropolitan area, or a town or village, or for any specified area, especially an area experiencing significant development pressures or negative effects of growth and development.

In regard to the latter, a strategic land use plan can be a way of alleviating or removing such pressures and managing future positive growth.

Strategic land use plans also provide the contextual framework for the control and regulation of land use and development, and for the making of land use planning and development policies to guide decision-making authorities and developers in the use and development of land.

In Western Australia, the strategic land use planning process is primarily guided and governed by the TPDA, through its planning policy provisions.

These provisions require the preparation of a Local Planning Strategy (LPS) when preparing a new town planning scheme (TPS). A town planning scheme is the principal instrument by which development control of a specified area is enacted (see section on Development Control).

The aim of an LPS is to express more clearly the strategic vision, policies, objectives and major proposals for land use and development within a town planning scheme area, say over a 15 to 20 year timeframe. It is also a means for interpreting State and regional land use and development policies and region schemes at the municipal or local government level, and adapting them to local circumstances.

An LPS is required to form part of any proposed new town planning scheme but by itself, it has no statutory force or effect. However, by forming a part of a relevant town planning scheme, the local government is to have regard to it in formulating, adopting and endorsing local area plans, area improvement plans, town planning scheme policies, and proposals to rezone, subdivide and to use and develop land.

It also provides the contextual framework for the making and implementation of a town planning scheme and for consistency in decision-making when determining land use and development proposals.

In the absence of this framework development control becomes or is seen as arbitrary, leading people to question whether or not there is any sound basis or foundation to decisions made.

Strategic Land Use Planning in Carnarvon

In Carnarvon, an LPS – together with a new town planning scheme – is currently in preparation. The LPS and new scheme will apply to the whole of the Shire area.

Initial preparation has already included public and key stakeholder participation. Further participation will be sought through a formal three (3) month public advertising process, anticipated to commence later this year (2006).

Following the completion of the public advertising process, the Carnarvon Shire Council will review both the LPS and new scheme within the context of any submissions received and any subsequent proposed or approved land use changes. Depending on the nature and substance of these, modifications to both the LPS and new scheme maybe required, and if substantive, may require the LPS and new scheme to be re-advertised.

Once the LPS and new scheme is adopted by Council, it is forwarded to the WAPC for further review and endorsement, and then to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure for final approval and gazettal.

Thereafter, proposals for new land use and development, or changes to existing land use and development will be required to conform to the LPS and new scheme.