THE WESTERN Downs Regional Council has unanimously resolved to adopt the new Western Downs Planning Scheme.
The new scheme, approved last Wednesday at its ordinary meeting, replaces the six individual planning schemes in the region and came into effect yesterday.
A council statement said the scheme streamlined the planning and development processes, allowing businesses in the region to further develop.
Under the new scheme there will be a 10-day turnaround from lodgement to the decision of applications from business that comply with the relevant criteria, aiming to reduce costs for businesses.
Mayor Paul McVeigh said the Western Downs now has one of the best planning schemes in the state.
"When you consider how much our region has grown over the past five years, it is critical that we have a planning scheme which is agile and responsive so it can adapt to our growing economy and capture all of the future opportunities which are certain to come," Cr McVeigh said.
"By streamlining processes, so we can turn around development applications much quicker, we are cutting time frames, cutting costs and creating certainty.
"This creates greater investment confidence."
The council said it is committed to six-monthly reviews so it could be flexible and adapt to the changing needs of the region.
Deputy Mayor Andrew Smith said the council was delighted to have one, clear, concise blueprint for planning and development.
"The new planning scheme is a vital tool Council has at its disposal to promote, enable and facilitate economic development across the region," Cr Smith said.
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