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Rural landholders have lost a planning disagreement with the government over the proposed Aboriginal bush retreat for alcohol and other drug rehabilitation near Tharwa, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), despite their fears it would undermine the area's 'rural character'.
The challenge held up progress on the healing farm, and the ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA) has been forced to wait for the tribunal's decision before taking the next step and considering the development application for the facility.
Last week the tribunal handed down its decision, saying it was satisfied the lease could be varied to include the purpose of a ''group or organised camp'' and still be consistent with the zoning requirements.
'Having viewed the subject land and surrounding land extensively, and taking into account the submissions as to rural character, quiet enjoyment and amenity, the tribunal considers that the relevant portion of the land is in principle suitable for use as a group or organised camp.’
The tribunal did agree with ACTPLA that it should make some changes to the lease to address some of the concerns raised by the landholders. That includes providing a proper plan of the portion of land that will be used for a 'group or organised camp'.
Source: The Canberra Times