Zoning in on our towns and villages


MidCoast Council’s land-use planners will host drop-in sessions in key locations during February and March, to check in with communities on a series of land use zoning changes being proposed in the region’s urban centres.

The drop-in consultation is designed to help locals understand what zones currently apply to their properties, and to secure community feedback relating to proposed changes in residential, employment and recreational areas.

“We understand that many people zone out when we talk about town planning, zoning and planning controls”, explained Paul De Szell, MidCoast Council’s Director of Liveable Communities. “But once in place, these controls directly impact what an area looks like, from what types of activities can be undertaken, to the size of lots and the height of buildings”.

The key message during this check-in phase is that while not all zones are changing, it’s important for people to understand the planning controls that apply, or could apply in the future, in the zones where they live, shop, work and play. 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.

Addressing urban zoning is part of a much larger project to develop a clear, consistent planning framework that will guide the way land use is managed across the entire MidCoast region. Rural zoning will be looked at in a separate stage to be undertaken later this year.

“The end result will be a simpler, more contemporary set of controls to replace the three we’re currently working from, and as well as catering for the needs of our communities into the future, we’ll also be sensitive to the unique character of our existing towns, villages and rural areas”.

For now, people are encouraged to “know their zone” by dropping in to chat with a Council land use-planner. Sessions will be held from 5.30pm – 7.30pm at:

  • Hawks Nest Hall, Tuesday 11 February
  • Bulahdelah War Memorial Hall, Thursday 13 February
  • 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 day time sessions are also being organised for some locations, with details to be provided shortly.

For those who can’t make a drop-in session, an online mapping tool is available from tomorrow, 5 February, at www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/zoningin where users can find their zone and learn about any changes that are being proposed.

Visit the website for more information, to ask a question, download fact sheets, review the documents on exhibition, and provide feedback by completing a submission before the consultation closes on Thursday 9 April 2020.

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