Planning and environment – application to regularise
use for airstrip and associated facilities in the Rural Zone
– airstrip proximate to neighbours – submitter appeal
against approval – applicant appeal against conditions
– whether conflict with the Planning Scheme – whether
use would adversely affect livestock – whether use is a major
utility as defined – meaning of "navigation aids"
– whether it satisfies criteria for consistent use –
whether "recreational activity" – whether
"community facility" – whether compatible with
surrounding Rural Purposes – whether developed to support
preferred uses – whether adverse impact on perceptions of
amenity – use of expert and non-expert evidence –
reasonable expectations – sufficiency of grounds to warrant
approval notwithstanding conflict
Facts: These were a submitter appeal and a
conditions appeal about the Rockhampton Regional Council's
decision to approve a development application for a development
permit for a material change of use to facilitate a private
airstrip including hangars for six aircraft and an aviation fuel
storage and dispensing facility (airstrip) on land at Tungamull,
east of Rockhampton.
The conditions appeal (4896 of 2012) was commenced by the
applicant (Toole) against conditions imposed on the approval
restricting the use to a "low key" facility.
The submitter appeal (205 of 2013) was commenced by Ward and
Lever, who owned residences in close proximity to the proposed
Decision: The Court held:
The proposal did not conform with all aspects of the DEOs but
would not have any material effect on their achievement at a shire
The evidence did not justify a conclusion that the intensity
and character would be similar to surrounding "Rural
It had not been demonstrated that the substantive purpose for
the facility was in order to support preferred uses in the Rural
The nature of the facility, being a private airstrip to
facilitate a limited number of movements being those the operator
at the time chose to permit, limited the potential of the facility
to play a significant role in terms of fulfilling any substantial
public or community need or in providing a benefit of
The evidence did not justify a conclusion either that the
airstrip was needed to support the viability of Toole's modest
cattle business or that its provision would have any significant
effect in creating economic demand for services and supplies.
Further, those in need of landing facilities for light aircraft and
helicopters already had an existing range of options.
The proposal conflicted with the provisions relating to the
rural zone. Even if it were operated in order to minimise adverse
impacts, the evidence had not established that it had been located
to minimise adverse impacts on the amenity of adjacent properties.
The extent of conflict was significant.
The location of the airstrip was poor, in terms of respecting
amenity and it had the potential to cause unacceptable
Approval of the airstrip would likely result in some adverse
amenity consequences both in psychological and direct terms.
The likely psychological impacts of the proposal were not
impacts which had determinative weight.
The operational controls were not sufficient to ensure that
adverse impacts on the acoustic amenity would be kept within
reasonable or acceptable limits.
The imposition of more stringent controls would not overcome
the fact that the proposal was poorly located. In addition there
was no evidence about the point at which impacts became
unreasonable and the operational controls would be difficult to
monitor and enforce at a practical level.
The grounds in support of the application, notwithstanding
conflict, were weak and the application was refused.
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