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More housing on rural properties

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Great Lakes Council is proposing to amend local planning rules to give rural land owners broader opportunities to build second homes on their land and wants to hear feedback from the rural community on the proposal.

“At present, rural landholders are limited to either an attached dual occupancy or a secondary dwelling. A secondary dwelling is limited in size to no larger than 60m2. If the draft planning proposal goes through, people in rural areas will also be able to build a detached dual occupancy provided it meets certain requirements” said Council’s Manager of Strategic Planning, Mr Roger Busby.

The changes are aimed at providing more choice for accommodating people who work on the farm by broadening the type of housing that can be built on a rural property.

“Rural landholders have told us that the current options do not give the flexibility that some people would like so that they can continue, or expand, their farming activities” said Mr Busby.

“For example the current size restriction of 60m2 for a secondary dwelling does not help land owners who want to employ a labourer who has a family nor does it help the farmer in being able to keep their extended families on the land.

“An attached dual occupancy also does not suit two families who want to have some space between them.”

In the past, the main issue some landholders have had with secondary dwellings has been the possibility that they could be occupied by someone not linked to the property and who may object to nearby farming activities, such as noise, odour and appearance.

“This has been a very real problem in some areas but the problems can be avoided by building in certain requirements that have to be met into the approval process” said Mr Busby.

“These requirements are spelled out in the draft controls and include the second house being within 100 metres of the main house, both houses using the same driveway and Council being satisfied that there will be no conflict with surrounding rural activities”.

The proposed changes to the rules are on exhibition from Wednesday 23 March to Friday 13 May and Council welcomes any comments during this period. The changes are available at all of Council’s offices and also on Council’s website at www.greatlakes.nsw.gov.au – current planning proposals

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