Mayor Jack Dempsey says Bundaberg Regional Council will consult the community on agricultural buffer zones to minimise conflict between farms and residential areas.
Mayor Dempsey said agriculture is vital to the region’s economy and needs to be protected.
“There is sometimes tension between working farms and neighbouring residential areas,” he said.
“Off-farm impacts can include dust, noise, spray drift, smell, light, smoke and ash.
“This policy will ensure consistency in how agricultural buffers are deployed in relation to new housing developments.
“It’s intended to minimise adverse impacts while ensuring that normal farming operations are able to continue unimpeded.”
Council’s Group Manager Development, Michael Ellery, said the Planning Scheme currently requires vegetated farm buffer zones between existing agricultural uses and any encroaching urban development.
“While the requirement for developers to provide agricultural buffers is specified within the current Planning Scheme it puts the onus of design on the developer, which has resulted in inconsistent standards across the region,” Mr Ellery said.
“This has become a source of frustration for the agricultural sector, the development industry, and Council.
“To address these concerns, consultants Place Design Group were engaged to undertake a planning study and recommend appropriate outcomes for the design, construction, and maintenance of agricultural buffers.”
Mayor Dempsey said consultation on farm buffer zones occurred with UDIA Bundaberg Branch, Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers, Bundaberg and Isis Canegrowers.
“These consultation sessions were valuable in raising key issues and practical realities that face the agricultural industry in relation to complaints and conflicts with neighbouring residential uses,” he said.
“The draft policy identifies varying buffer treatments for different situations and other measures to ensure the buffers are effectively constructed and maintained.
“The draft policy is supported by agricultural science and landscape architecture technical reports, and these reports will be made available during public consultation.”
- Earlier report: Council planning scheme amended