Debate over North Arm Cove non-urban land continues


THE ongoing debate over North Arm Cove’s Non-Urban land zoning continues, with the North Arm Cove Rate Payers Association (NACRPA) proposing sustainable housing opportunities and development ideas.

Many lots in North Arm Cove are zoned as non-urban land, and therefore are unable to be developed on.

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Non-urban land is defined as ‘Land containing lots that only have recognition on paper and, in most cases, have no formed roads, drainage, reticulated water, sewer or electricity’.

NACRPA have proposed various forms of use that are believed to align with the MidCoast Council’s policies, however the possibility for development on these lots is not guaranteed.

The group believes that North Arm Cove could be the key to the housing crisis in the Myall Coast and Port Stephens area.

“Regional areas are booming, and will most likely stay that way in the foreseeable future, as COVID-19 has brought forward an exodus of people from the main cities, due to the new flexible working conditions,” David Buxton, a member of NACRPA said.

“Lack of places to live and rent are now commonplace across the eastern seaboard,” Mr Buxton said.

The group believes that MidCoast Council has turned a blind eye to “one of the greatest opportunities being handed to them”.

MidCoast Council are currently preparing The Draft Rural Strategy and Paper Subdivision Analysis Report are scheduled to be presented to Council for exhibition on 28 July 2021 taking this into consideration.

Mayor of Midcoast Council David West spoke about the Strategy and the future for North Arm Cove.

“In the interests of transparency, Council has consistently advised owners of land within paper subdivisions in North Arm Cove and other locations, that the rezoning of these areas to urban and residential purposes is highly unlikely,” Mr West said.

“Council is committed to evidence-based land use planning.

“In so doing we are looking at not only the financial implications of rezoning land, but also the triple bottom line economic, social and environmental outcomes that contribute to the future of the MidCoast,” Mr West told News Of The Area.

Several Background Reports that have informed the Rural Strategy were noted at the Council meeting on 30 June 2021 and these are available on the Council website at



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