Chidlow landowners can have their say on rezoning proposal until November

Rod and Marian Mitchell. Picture: David Baylis.
Rod and Marian Mitchell. Picture: David Baylis.

Comments open for Chidlow residential proposal

LANDOWNERS against a rezoning proposal paving the way for residential development in Chidlow have until November 9 to have their say.

Farmer Rod Mitchell found out about the proposal via a Shire notice erected near his Douglas Road property.

Mr Mitchell owns three lots affected by the plan, including the land on which he built his family home, and he is vehemently against the proposal seeking to rezone the land from rural small holding to development.

He said if he had known an application was before the council, he would have raised his concerns at the July meeting where councillors approved the first stage of the proposal.

Shire acting chief executive officer Shane Purdy said affected landowners were not contacted by the Shire because the council had not endorsed the draft amendment for advertising.

“Ordinarily, landowners within the area earmarked for ‘investigation’ would discuss the proposal amongst themselves and seek to share costs of compiling a rezoning application,” he said.

“It is common for some landowners to not support or not participate in an amendment proposal and they have a right to express this view during the public submission period.”

Mr Purdy said there was no formal statutory process to inform and consult property owners about the rezoning proposal before the July meeting.

“Once council has approved an amendment for the purpose of advertising, the planning regulations stipulate the advertising requirements,” he said.

“In this case, letters were sent to affected and surrounding landowners, signs were installed near the site and notices were issued in the local papers.

“Details are also available at the Shire offices and libraries.”

He confirmed the rezoning amendment noted the applicant had consulted with affected landowners, though there was no statutory obligation to do so.

Mr Purdy said if the rezoning was approved, it would provide a basis for a structure plan to be prepared.

“Lot sizes and number of properties would be an outcome of this detailed structure planning process,” he said.

The minimum lot size in a rural small holding zone is 20 hectares (50 acres), whereas the development zone minimum is 1 hectare (2.5 acres).

“However, the purpose of the development zone is to facilitate a diverse range of lot sizes,” Mr Purdy said.

Comments about the rezoning proposal can be made online or in writing to the Shire’s planning service.

If the amendment is approved, it will go to the WA Planning Commission which will make a recommendation to the Minister for Planning.

If the rezoning is approved a structure plan can be prepared for advertising.