Urban zoning consultation underway


MidCoast Council’s land-use planners are encouraging locals to “know your zone” with a series of drop-in sessions across the region kicking off in Hawks Nest and Bulahdelah last week.

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The drop-in sessions are part of a check-in consultation designed to help people understand what zones currently apply to where they live, shop, work and play, and to secure community feedback relating to proposed zoning changes in towns and villages. Feedback collated in this phase will inform the development of draft plans, which will be placed on exhibition during a second phase, before being finalised and implemented.

“As a merged council, we currently have three sets of planning controls across the region which is confusing for everyone”, explained Paul De Szell, Council’s Director of Liveable Communities. “Reviewing our urban zones is one part of a much larger project to streamline our planning controls, and contemporise them at the same time so they cater for our communities into the future”.

Rural zones will be addressed in a separate consultation later this year.

Changes being proposed for urban zones range from a simple name change for region-wide consistency, or rezoning to align with current and future land uses, through to increased building heights that encourage vibrancy and development in larger centres.

While not all zones are changing, locals are reminded that planning controls directly impact what an area looks like, what activities can be undertaken, and the type of buildings the neighbours can construct next door.

Effective zoning also avoids mixing incompatible land uses, like a pre-school next to a pub, and maintains local character by ensuring consistency of building structures.

To find out what’s being proposed for your zone, drop-in and chat with a land-use planner at your nearest session, or visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/zoningin where you can use the online mapping tool to look up what’s being proposed for your neighbourhood. Submissions are invited online, by email or by post, before the consultation closes on Thursday 9 April.

Remaining drop-in sessions run between 5.30pm and 7.30pm at:

· Gloucester Senior Citizens Centre, Tuesday 18 February

· Pacific Palms Community Centre, Thursday 20 February

· Harrington Function Centre (next to library), Monday 24 February

· Hallidays Point / Black Head SLSC, Tuesday 25 February

· Wingham Memorial Town Hall, Tuesday 3 March

· Old Bar Bowling Club, Wednesday 4 March

· Stroud School of Arts Hall, Thursday 5 March

· Taree Council Chambers, Thursday 12 March

· Forster Council Chambers, Thursday 19 March

Additional sessions will be held at:

· Old Bar, Lauders Real Estate carpark (near Coles), 2pm – 4pm Wednesday 4 March

· Taree Central shopping centre (next to Big W), 10am – 4pm, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, and Thursday 12 March

· Tuncurry Plaza, shop 23, 29 Manning Street, 10am – 4pm, Tuesday 17, Wednesday 18, and Thursday 19 March

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