Northern Midlands Council will undertake a rezoning application and develop a Specific Area Plan on the site of a disputed housing development.
Mayor Mary Knowles said the decision would give the council more say over future development to ensure they were sensitive to the environment, promoted liveability and provided good housing outcomes.
The council's decision to undertake its own SAP follows the withdrawal of a multi-million dollar rezoning application by developer Red Panda Property for a proposed Drummond Street development that would have added around 390 houses to the town.
In April, RPP withdrew its rezoning application for the proposed housing development, citing a disagreement over the development's stormwater disbursement.
RPP director Andrew McCullagh said the council developing its own application and SAP was an unnecessary duplication in planning practices, with the cost to be borne by ratepayers.
In an email to Cr Knowles, Mr McCullagh questioned why the council would spend more than $100,000 in ratepayer money to achieve the same outcome his application and SAP could provide.
"A SAP has already been done as requested by council, and the head of planning at the Department of Justice proposed to do a SAP at the state governments expense to alleviate any bias or concerns, but both were rejected," he said.
Cr Knowles said the council based its decision on the advice of an independent professional after consideration of a proposal from the Planning Policy Unit at the Department of Justice.
According to Mr McCullagh, the response from the Department of Justice Planning Policy Unit director Brian Risby to the RPP SAP had been positive - with only minor amendments to the plan required, which the developer had agreed to make.
In an email, Mr Risby advised the council's decision to implement a separate rezoning application could be seen as a means for the council to lock in its preferred layout for any future developments on the site.
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Following the advice provided by the department unit, Cr Knowles confirmed the SAP would overlay the proposed zone with broad directions and set out principles that need to be delivered for the site.
In an email from the department to the developer and the council, Mr Risby wrote the SAP should not go to the design level, but must flag the issues that require resolution and evidence of adequacy later.
"The point of the SAP is to say generally the area can be developed but there are some issues that need to be sorted along the way," it read.
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