Ward Veitch from Urban Planet.
Ward Veitch from Urban Planet. Alistair Brightman

UDIA gives planning scheme the thumbs up

DESPITE the furore surrounding business zoning issues, the Fraser Coast president of Urban Development Institute Association believes the council has done a "pretty good" job with its draft planning scheme.

UDIA Fraser Coast branch president Ward Veitch acknowledged there were errors - most notably the commercial to residential zoning change in Maryborough - but said overall the document was an improvement on the old schemes.

"From the UDIA perspective the planning scheme's a major step forward, it's consolidating four old, inconsistent planning schemes, of which the oldest one is 13-years-old," Mr Veitch said.

"So it brings us up to date with a contemporary statement about where the council wants the region to go, and that's very important, particularly for the growth of commercial activities and economic activities in the region.

"We acknowledge there are issues with the planning scheme but that's why it's a draft and that's what the public notification period is about."

Mr Veitch said the UDIA would be making a submission against the draft but said most of its concerns were to do with the scheme's finer details.

He said the association held no concerns about the changes to high-rise development in Hervey Bay, and claimed the differences along the Esplanade and surrounding areas were not substantial enough to change the Bay's appearance.

One area Mr Veitch did admit to confusion over, however, was the commercial to residential zoning change in Maryborough.

"In Maryborough, those are issues the council will have to address, whether or not the back zonings or change in zonings have been justified, and whether or not they might just have been errors I don't know," he said.

Submissions close on the draft plan on Friday.