Clarence Valley Council will submit a planning proposal to the Department of Planning and Environment, requesting a ‘Gateway’ determination to allow the construction of a second detached dwelling on rural land. Councillors unanimously endorsed the proposal at the October council meeting. The proposal, if approved, will allow a second dwelling to be constructed on land zoned RU1 Primary Production, RU2 Rural Landscape and R5 Large Lot Residential. The proposal does not include an option to subdivide blocks where a second detached dwelling is built. Attached second dwellings are presently permitted by the Clarence Valley Local Environment Plan 2011, which means “there will be no increase in the net development potential of rural land parcels”, if the change is adopted, the report to council states. However, the proposal has the potential to: “provide additional housing options for the changing demographics and changing nature of agriculture in the Clarence Valley”, which concurs with the Clarence Valley Affordable Housing Strategy. The strategy “places a high priority on reviewing and identifying appropriate planning policies that support the development of a range of housing options, in particular those for low income residents”. The report to council points out that the change could provide “accommodation for family members, especially the elderly, for workers on a property or as a rental option, which will provide an additional source of income for those on agricultural land”. The change is also flagged as potentially creating some housing for people involved in “infrastructure projects scheduled within the Clarence Valley over the next 5 to 10 years” – road and bridge building. “Without extra housing stock this new demand for housing is expected to impact the rental housing supply and holiday accommodation for visitors and tourists,” the report to council states. The council’s environment, planning & community director, Des Schroder, said the council already waives section 94 and 64 charges on the construction of granny flats. “That was implemented several years ago in relation to providing affordable housing,” he said. “It’s one form of accommodation to assist families and it could be used to house road workers.” Mr Schroder also welcomed the increase in dual occupancy development applications “in new developments, particularly around Grafton, which is another form of affordable housing”.