Brighton joins push for updated land use strategy

BRIGHTON Council has joined with other southern Tasmanian councils to call on the State Government to update the Southern Tasmania Regional Land Use Strategy (STRLUS).

The strategy underpins growth and development in the south of the State and is designed to ensure that council planning and land use policies are relevant and responsive to community needs.

Brighton Mayor Tony Foster said the southern Tasmanian region and particularly the Brighton Municipality, had experienced unprecedented growth since the strategy was introduced in 2012, and it was now in urgent need of updating.

Cr Foster said the past decade’s growth had seen the region experiencing challenges arising from congestion, housing affordability, climate change risks, greater demand for goods and services, and increased tourism.

“Greater Hobart is now a vastly different place from that which existed in 2012 and this is placing increased pressures on land use planning,” he said.

“Without a review, STRLUS will quickly become out of date and be a barrier to good practical development.

“The State Government is required to keep all regional land use strategies under regular review and as a member of the Southern Tasmanian Councils’ Authority, we’ve called on the Government to immediately commence work to ensure it is relevant today.

“While planning is a local government responsibility and councils approve planning applications within their own municipal boundaries, we must take a wider regional view and that is a State responsibility.

“A regional plan for southern Tasmania could be developed as part of the Hobart City Deal and it should include regional councils as well as the metropolitan councils already involved.”

Cr Foster said there were countless examples of how wider regional planning was required to manage current and anticipated future needs.

“For example, Brighton has issues with residential land supply and we prepared a Brighton Structure Plan in 2018 which identified the need to expand the STRLUS urban growth boundary to accommodate residential growth in the future.

“Without this change, rezoning this land will not be considered by the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

“Importantly, the review must consider where and how affordable and social housing is delivered and what social infrastructure is required.

“We also have an underutilised Industrial Estate, while Glenorchy has increasing pressure at Derwent Park. A regional approach could facilitate industry relocation to Brighton and the rail corridor could be developed by more appropriate high-density mixed uses, but this requires vision and a change to the STRLUS.

“Further, traffic congestion and the growth of outer suburbs are serious issues and resolution requires an integrated strategy that includes land use covering places of employment, increased population densities, community facilities and a range of transport modes.

“Approximately 80 per cent of Brighton’s workers commute outside the municipality for their employment and a major issue is the frequency of public transport to Glenorchy and Hobart. Solutions must be implemented on a regional level.”

Cr Foster said a major concern was the inconsistencies between State Planning Provisions and the STRLUS.

“The creation of the State Planning Provisions should have been proceeded by a comprehensive review of Tasmanian planning policies and the Regional Land Use Strategies.

“Southern Councils have now written to State Growth Minister, Michael Ferguson, seeking an urgent review of the strategy and an associated amendment of State Planning Provisions to ensure they are consistent with the outcome of the review,” Cr Foster said.