Farmers call for land rules review

TOP council planning staff have been told to ask government planning bureaucrats for a review of rules restricting what Tweed farmers can do with their land.

The move follows a meeting of more than 200 people in Murwillumbah last week where farmers voiced alarm over the future of farms on the Tweed and protested a range of government rules which ban them from subdividing land to raise money for new agricultural ventures, deter banks from lending to farmers and in many cases block the building of new houses.

Tweed Mayor Warren Polglase has won the support of other councillors, except Greens Councillor Katie Milne and Cr Kevin Skinner, to instruct planning staff to ask for the review when they meet government planning bureaucrats in Sydney on May 12.

The Department of Planning called the meeting to discuss mounting alarm over the way the government’s standard “template” for planning rules has been applied to the draft Tweed Local Environment Plan which could see the amount of land zoned for environmental protection more than halved.

“That’s good news,” said Tweed Combined Rural Industries Association chairman Col Brooks. “It’s imperative that if we are going to get changes to the state government template we have our local planners on side.”



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