BRIDGENORTH man Chris Austen has just about given up on his dream to have his son and family living on the farm next door.
The family came so close to realising the dream that Mr Austen's son drew up plans for a house and secured a builder on stand- by to start work more than two years ago as soon as the new West Tamar planning scheme was signed off.
But Mr Austen's plans, like many others, were put on hold while the council waited for its scheme to be declared by Local Government and Planning Minister Bryan Green.
West Tamar, Northern Midlands and Meander Valley councils have so far refused to make proposed changes to their draft schemes sent to Mr Green late last year to make them compliant.
They say that the changes would alter the schemes so that they would not deliver what their communities had been looking for from planning for nearly a decade.
Mr Austen is not a big developer.
He and his wife have lived on their rocky 20-hectare outcrop for nearly 30 years.
Their block is not zoned prime agricultural.
"It's not even worth grazing animals on it," Mr Austen said yesterday.
Their plan was to subdivide off eight of the 20 hectares on the bottom side as a home block for their son.
The shape of the block meant that the eight hectares could have its own entrance off another road but would back on to the existing block.
But the stalemate between Northern rural councils and the state government over their planning schemes means that Mr Austen has no idea whether the family's plan will ever come to fruition.
The former local government finance officer and state government gaming inspector wrote to Mr Green in early September last year.
He told Mr Green that he understood the requirement to protect prime agricultural land.
"I feel however that you and your representative - the Tasmanian Planning Commission - do not have an understanding of the soil quality and type that largely make up the West Tamar municipality," Mr Austen said.
"The highest and best use of this land would be for rural residential lifestyle properties."
Mr Green told Mr Austen that the West Tamar Council had submitted additional information and amendments to its final draft interim scheme, which was being evaluated by a planning commission advisory committee.