Covenants not supported in amendments

The Institute’s Bundaberg Branch has written to Bundaberg Regional Council recommending against the use of property covenants as a means of facilitating vegetated buffers as part of Council’s new planning scheme policy for agricultural buffers.

While the Institute supports council’s action to revitalise the policy, property covenants are not the supported vehicle to achieve the policy intent. It is our belief that this defined form of tenure will be a substantial burden on home buyers and local residents. It will reduce their tradable home value and reduce the number of potential buyers.

Greater education and communication is needed between council, the agricultural industry, and the community in understanding the issues surrounding amenity and the interface between sensitive and agricultural uses. In a region characterised with agriculture and vibrant urban development like Bundaberg, these tensions will continue to arise without greater dialogue between local government and the community.

Finally, the Institute recommended that council improve their current mechanisms to require buffers between sensitive land uses and agricultural uses. Improvement to the assessment benchmarks and how council condition development approvals can achieve the same outcome without a cumbersome form of tenure restricting property owners.

If you have any questions in relation to the Institute’s submission, please reach out via email or call (07) 3229 1589.

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