Land Use, Property, Permits, Civil
This case dealt with potential conflicts between a tourist facility and a rural farm on two adjacent properties. The application for review was brought by a neighbouring objector in response to the decision by the local authority to grant planning permission for a group of tourist cottages with associated works on a rural lot. The general locality was one used for rural farming activities and rural residential living. Directly adjacent to the subject land was the southern boundary of a farm which was used for the purpose of horticultural based activities. The primary use of the land involved the farming of trees, but was intended to also include raising of crops. The responsible authority said that in considering the local planning policies applicable to the application, there was evident conflict between the tourism and agricultural policies. However, given the site had not been identified as containing high quality agricultural land, it was considered reasonable that other non-agricultural activities be given consideration. The objector contended that the development was totally incompatible with the farming activities of the area. The primary function of the area was for agricultural and horticultural enterprises, not for cottage accommodation. They were concerned that complaints would arise regarding everyday agricultural activities. These activities included chemical application in the form of spraying which could create odours, land preparation which would create dust, and diesel motors running irrigators, creating noise at night. The court considered the question whether there was a direct conflict between the two adjacent land uses. Would the development of this small tourist facility curtail the proper opportunities for intensification of rural activities on the adjoining property? It concluded that it would not. The permit applicant had agreed to limit objection to farming activities. Furthermore the agricultural use was located in an area where there was already rural residential activity taking place. If there were pressures to curtail free farming of the tree planters’ land they would already exist. Finally, the building works and landscaping proposed by the permit applicants would adequately protect the amenity of occupants of the tourist cottages, especially given that they would be visiting a rural locality in which farming activities were expected.