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A VITAL planning DOCUMENT which effectively acts as the blueprint to map out the future growth of Bathurst has finally been gazetted – and it’s all about opening up land for new homes.
The Bathurst Regional Local Environmental Plan 2014 (LEP) has been nearly a decade in the making, and was given the TICKET of approval by the state planning department on Wednesday afternoon.
A key to the new LEP is zoning to allow for the expansion of residential areas across the region, with particular focus on a major tract of land east of Kelso in the vicinity of Limekilns Road, Marsden Lane and Laffing Waters Lane.
There is also an allowance for growth in rural residential living in the villages and land further west of Wentworth estate. The grand vision includes enough land TO BUILD new homes and cope with a population growth of 20,000 people.
Bathurst Regional Council’s director of environment planning AND BUILDING services David Shaw said yesterday it was a relief to finally have the new LEP in place.
“The whole PROCESS STARTED a long time ago,” he said. “It dates back to the first study we did in 2005, so it’s nearly been a decade-long process.
“An LEP usually has a life span of about 10 years. That means we will start working on an all-new LEP in a couple of years and start working through the whole process all over again.
“We’re pretty set for the moment, but our department is always planning for the future so it’s always on ongoing process.”
Mr Shaw said the LEP introduced a NUMBER of significant changes, including the rezoning of about 500 hectares of residential land east of Kelso, the introduction of a village zoning in Peel and Yetholme and additional rural residential land at Mount Rankin and Robin Hill.
“The LEP also introduces a number of the recommendations of the Bathurst Urban and Rural Strategies and allows for the continued planning growth of the Bathurst region,” he said.
New urban release areas in the DOCUMENT include additional residential land at Kelso, more space for bulk goods developments on Sydney Road and the Service Trade Centre and the additional zoning of residential land at Mount Rankin, The Lagoon, Trunkey Creek and Warabindi Orchard.