Katherine East Area Plan

map of Katherine east with study area highlightedIntroduction

The second stage of community consultation has now been completed on the draft Area Plan for the suburb of Katherine East.

This was an opportunity for the Katherine community to have a say on planning for land uses in Katherine East, including the three focus areas, which have been captured in the Consultation Report for Stage Two (2.7 mb).

Katherine is central to the regions’ tourism, agribusiness and defence sectors and sits at the junction of the Stuart and Victoria Highway linking north to south and out to Western Australia.

What are Area Plans?

Area Plans are land use and development policies within the Northern Territory Planning Scheme which guide the future use and development of land and provide a detailed framework for land use change.  These plans contain planning principles and objectives to give the community, industry, and decision-makers confidence and understanding about potential land uses.

Area Plans are included in the NT Planning Scheme and must be considered by the Minister or the Development Consent Authority whenever a rezoning or development is proposed. Area Plans do not alter existing use rights and land can continue to be used in accordance with the current land use zone.

Area Plans do not automatically rezone land. If a landowner wants to develop in accordance with the Area Plan, the landowner must first rezone the land by applying to the Minister responsible for administering the Planning Act 1999.

Area Plans try to look as far ahead as possible but, in time, they may be reviewed to meet the future needs and aspirations of the community.  Any change to an Area Plan is a Planning Scheme Amendment and must follow the process set out in the Planning Act 1999, including public exhibition.

The draft Katherine East Area Plan

The draft Katherine East Area Plan builds on the overarching direction provided by the Katherine Land Use Plan 2014.

Community feedback was considered in developing the Area Plan. Preparing the Area Plan also provided an opportunity for services authorities like Power and Water Corporation and local councils to plan for future infrastructure services such as power, water, sewerage, roads and drainage.

The draft Area Plan is supported by a draft Land Capability and Needs Assessment document, which contains a record of investigations, and additional studies that were undertaken during stage one. The intention of the Needs Assessment is to sit within the background documents section of the NT Planning Scheme. It is recommend that where there are questions about interpretation or policy position of the draft Area Plan that the Needs Assessment is utilised as a reference.

The process to create the Area Plan

The Katherine East Area Plan is being developed over three stages.

3 stage process image. Stage 3 is highlighted as the current stage

Stage one occurred from 9 November 2018 to 14 December 2018, and included the release of a discussion paper and community consultation.

Stage Two was completed on Friday 21 June 2019 and included the release of the Draft Area Plan (11.5 mb) and the Draft Land Capability and Needs Assessments (12.6 mb) for consultation.

Stage Three is the final stage of the project.  The Planning Commission will finalise and recommend the Area Plan and associated documents to the Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics for public exhibition as a proposed amendment to the Northern Territory Planning Scheme.