Local News

The Harwood Sugar Mill industrial precinct surrounded by prime agricultural land and the Pacific Motorway. Image: Contributed

Council’s land strategy for future prosperity

A draft plan which outlines future industrial and business land use in the Clarence Valley region has been released for exhibition by Clarence Valley Council.

The draft Employment Land Strategy provides guidance for future development and includes a range of specific actions to address issues raised by industry and business.
“The Employment Land Strategy is Council’s 20-year vision to guide sustainable economic growth and development across the Clarence Valley,” Clarence Valley Council Acting General Manager Laura Black said.
“Its purpose is to ensure we have adequate land available to meet demand for future industrial and business development.
“We want to support a growing economy, enable more job opportunities and encourage sustainable development.”
The draft strategy examines the issues and opportunities associated with employment land across the Clarence Valley, including an audit of the supply and demand for Industrial and Business zoned land in association with employment trends.
One of Council’s objectives was to develop strategies and actions to ensure development ready and well located land is available to provide for new and expanding businesses in the Clarence.
In line with projected population growth, the draft strategy report states “an additional 2,600 jobs would need to be created” in the Clarence Valley by 2041.

Map displays industrial and employment generating lands in the Clarence Valley.

An assessment of supply and demand for future employment land, which also considered environmental and infrastructure constraints, found that additional land is required to meet future demand.
The North Coast Regional Plan 2036 has identified land near Clarence Valley Regional Airport, South Grafton, Koolkhan and Townsend as areas for possible future industrial development. The investigation earmarked land on Big River Way on the edge of South Grafton with 66 hectares of developable land as the suggested priority for rezoning, because of its excellent road access, including to the Pacific Motorway, relative lower servicing costs, and proximity to Grafton and associated facilities, services and workforce.
The draft strategy also looks at business centres, including supporting the growth of Grafton as a regional centre, with a suggestion to consider increasing height limits where suitable to be more competitive with other similar regional centres.
Other suggested actions include to facilitate development of larger lots for industrial development, making the development application process simpler and more user friendly, support for creative industries and sustainable technology, and investigate opportunities in the agribusiness supply chain such as processing and packaging facilities.
“The goals of this strategy are to leverage the strengths of the Clarence Valley as a place to do business, and support the ongoing revitalisation, character and amenity of commercial centres,” Ms Black said.
The draft Employment Land Strategy is open for comment until June 6, 2022. For further details refer to: www.clarenceconversations.com.au/employment-land-strategy