Rejected Islamic development prompts Goulburn Mulwaree  Council (NSW) to refine policy.

 

 The NSW Department of Planning and Environment says the community's needs must be weighed up against environmental concerns.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment says the community's needs must be weighed up against environmental concerns.

What is a cemetery? That is the question at the centre of a legal stoush between a country council and a religious group that applied to build an Islamic cemetery near Goulburn.

The case was escalated to the NSW Land and Environment Court earlier this year, which rejected the bid in the appeal stage on the grounds it did not meet the local environment plan's definition of a cemetery.

The Goulburn-Mulwaree Council, which said environmentally-sensitive land was no place for the development, has now voted to change the rules around cemeteries in ecological areas in its local environment plan, to prevent the emergence of similar cases.

Cemeteries are "permissible with consent" in environmental conservation and management zones, but after seeking legal advice, the council wants that wording removed.

It will put the proposal to the NSW Planning Minister and the Planning and Environment Department, which may require the community's thoughts about the idea.

Full story (ABC)