WESTERN Australian Planning Minister John Day last week announced the release of the draft Swan Valley Development Plan, which he said will provide greater protection for agricultural land and encourage tourism activities that supported and complemented the area's rural character.
"The Swan Valley is a unique and valuable part of Perth and the State Government is committed to protecting it for the benefit of current and future generations," Mr Day said.
"This draft plan prescribes what land uses are appropriate in the Swan Valley and how buildings should be designed, to ensure future developments reflect the character of the area.
"It strikes a balance between the appropriate growth of the food, beverage and tourism industry, while protecting the rural character and agricultural land from competing and incompatible land uses."
According to the Minister, the draft plan includes:
- The development of Herne Hill into a town centre servicing the Swan Valley
- 'Tourism nodes' that provide a focal point for a range of intensive tourism activities
- The establishment of 'tourism drives' to promote access across the Swan Valley
- The development of tourism activities that support existing agricultural enterprises
- Measures to provide greater protection for agricultural land
- Direction on architectural character, building materials and landscaping.
The Minister said agriculture would continue to play a key role in the future of the Swan Valley.
"The draft plan supports the ongoing role of agriculture through restricting subdivision on priority agricultural land, and preserving land zoned rural for rural purposes and productive agricultural activities," he said.
"It also facilitates the development of agri-tourism compatible with agricultural activities as well as improving sustainable practices such as increased energy and water efficiency.
"The public comment period is an important opportunity for the community to have their say about protecting the future of the Swan Valley."