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Setback gets mixed response

THE 100-metre setback guideline for all development in the State Government’s new coastal planning policy has received a mixed response from the property development industry.

The new policy requires the 100m setback to protect against erosion and storms and will be implemented through local government town planning schemes and regional and local strategies.

While the Pindan Property Group has obtained all its necessary development approvals, development manager Nick Allingame said this policy had the potential to impact on the company in the future and would be a big problem for developers still waiting for development approval.

He said the policy would make a huge difference to the profitability of coastal developments and short-term reimbursement should be offered to landowners and developers.

Theoretically, under a blanket 100m setback policy a 300sq m coastal development site would automatically lose a third of its development space and value.

“People who have bought property because of potential development all of a sudden have had this policy cut the size and value of their site,” Mr Allingame said.

“There needs to be more consultation about the financial implications for landowners.”

The implementation of a blanket 100m setback policy might cause a rush of poorly thought-out development applications, which may cause more coastal damage in the long term, he said.

Urban Development Institute of Australia State president Colin Evans said that, while the organisation supported the 100m setback in just circumstances, it did not support the setback as blanket policy, particularly where scientific evidence supported lesser or no setback.

“Every property development needs to be examined on its merits and properly evaluated on scientific merit,’ he said.

“Our concern is that coastal development can become an emotive issue that can overtake the scientific merit of a particular development.”

Mr Evans said the development industry was sensitive to environmental concerns, however if there was scientific evidence to support closer development, the policy should contain more flexibility.

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