Rural Lands Study2021-08-10T14:16:11+10:00

Rural Lands Study

Hornsby Shire Council has recently prepared a draft Rural Lands Study. The draft Study applies a place-based approach for planning in rural areas in line with State Government requirements set out in the North District Plan.

The draft Study was exhibited to the community from mid-September until mid-November 2020. It was encouraging to receive over 300 submissions during the exhibition period and we thank the community for taking the time to participate in the consultation process.

Council staff, in conjunction with the consultants, are working through the submissions to better understand the views of the community.  A feedback summary report is being prepared for presentation to Council to assist Councillors consider the feedback and decide on the next steps, such as whether to endorse the Study and implement the recommendations.

It is anticipated that the feedback report will be ready for presentation to Council early in the new year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Council prepare a Rural Lands Study?2021-07-14T11:11:56+10:00

Council’s current planning framework for the rural areas has been informed by previous studies. Although Council has completed planning control reviews and community surveys in the past, the last comprehensive evidence-based study was completed in 1995. A lot has changed since this time, with new pressures and opportunities emerging.

In 2018, Council commenced a Rural Lands Study to provide a new evidence base and recommendations for managing the rural areas of Hornsby shire into the future. SGS Economics and Planning was engaged by Council to prepare the Study.

The Study is required to align with relevant actions of the State Government’s North District Plan, which includes actions for better managing rural lands.

What has been the timeline for preparation of the Study?2021-07-14T12:04:03+10:00

An outline of the various stages of the project timing and is provided below: 

Stage Date Task
Stage 1 – Existing Situation March – August 2019 Review of background material.
Stage 2 – Draft landscape character August 2019 Draft Landscape Areas Report prepared, which identified landscape areas and a character statement for each area.
Stage 3 – Community feedback Oct – Dec 2019 Community consultation to obtain feedback on the draft landscape areas and character statements. 2019 Feedback summary report published on Council’s website.
Stage 4 – Review Jan-July 2020 Draft Rural Lands Study Background Report prepared.
Stage 5 – Findings and Recommendations Mid 2020 Draft Rural Lands Strategy prepared.
Public Exhibition of draft Rural Lands Study Sep to Dec 2020 Exhibition of the draft Rural Lands Strategy and the draft Rural Lands Study Background report.
Review current Review of submissions.
Council meeting(s) To be confirmed Council meeting(s) – Council to consider feedback summary report and next steps including whether to endorse the Study and implement any or all recommendations.
How has the community been consulted?2021-07-14T12:07:24+10:00

Preliminary Consultation 2019:

In 2019,  Council undertook an extensive consultation with the community as part of the preliminary stages of the Study. The purpose of the consultation was to obtain feedback on draft landscape and character statements prepared.

The consultation was promoted through letters to all rural land owners, newspaper advertisements, Council’s e-newsletter, facebook page and website. Consultation activities included face to face workshops in Galston and Glenorie, drop in sessions and an online survey.

The feedback received from the community is outlined in the 2019 Feedback Summary Report and was considered by the consultants in progressing with the Study.

Exhibition of draft Rural Lands Study 2020:

The draft Rural Lands Study was exhibited to the community from mid-September until mid-November 2020. The exhibition was promoted through letters to all rural land owners, newspaper advertisements, Council’s e-newsletter, facebook page and website. Feedback was invited via submissions or an online survey.

A feedback summary report is being prepared to reflect the views and issues raised in response to the exhibition.

Where can I find a map of the landscape areas?2021-07-14T12:12:27+10:00

The draft Rural Lands Strategy includes a basic map of each landscape area. A detailed map of the landscape area boundaries is available on Council’s online mapping tool.

Find your property in relation to Landscape Area Boundaries
When will the Study be considered at a Council meeting?2021-08-10T14:14:45+10:00

A feedback summary report is being prepared for presentation to Council to assist Councillors consider the feedback and decide on the next steps, such as whether to endorse the Study and implement the recommendations.

It is anticipated that the feedback report will be ready for presentation to Council early in the new year.

People who made a submission during the exhibition period will be notified when the feedback summary report has been scheduled for consideration at a future Council meeting.

What will happen if Council decides to endorse the Study and its recommendations?2021-07-14T12:14:19+10:00

Following any Council decision on whether to endorse the Rural Lands Study and to implement the recommendations, an action plan will be developed which will set out the order and timing for the many elements in the Study to be addressed. The timing for completion of investigations and subsequent changes to planning controls that Council decides to progress would be staged over several years.

Should Council decide to implement changes to planning controls in the Hornsby Local Environmental Plan 2013, this would require further consultation with the community and approval from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

What changes are being made to planning controls for Secondary Dwelling in rural areas?2021-07-14T12:15:08+10:00

Council has already had the opportunity to address one of the recommendations of the draft Study in response to a change in planning legislation by the State Government enabling councils to nominate a maximum size for secondary dwellings in rural areas.

At its meeting on 14 April 2021, Council resolved to increase the permitted size of secondary dwellings from 60sqm to 120sqm and retain the control that permits secondary dwellings up to 33% of the floor area of the principal dwelling.

The new controls are not in force yet but are expected to come into effect later in 2021. This change will address a significant issue raised in submissions in respect to affordable housing and ageing in place.

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