Draft MidCoast Rural Strategy

Changes proposed for rural and environmental lands

Proposed changes to the way the region's waterways, rural and environmental lands are managed are open for community feedback as part of the draft MidCoast Rural Strategy.

The draft sets out a proposed framework for clear and consistent land use planning principles to sustainably manage the use of land and water resources outside the region's towns and villages. It's the final body of work that makes up a single MidCoast Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP).

Prepared by the MidCoast Council Land Use Planning team, the strategy addresses ways to identify and protect productive land and water resources, provide accommodation and services for rural communities, and manage development in rural environments into the future.

"Rural land makes up more than 95 per cent of the region's total area, and given the importance of the environment and our rural landscapes to the local community, we're keen to check in to make sure we are on track before we move to the next step," Council's Liveable Communities director, Paul De Szell said. "This strategy is about establishing a consistent platform and a program of actions that facilitate the sustainable use of the region's assets."

The draft proposes four key achievable goals: sustaining primary production opportunities; enhancing rural lifestyles and livelihoods; protecting natural landscapes and improve planning and plan-making in practice.

Among the changes is bringing rural land into a single zone with consistent rules about what landowners can do on their properties and proposes a standard minimum lot size across the region. It also provides rezoning recommendations in some areas and includes a review of land within paper subdivisions.

"Whether you're a rural landholder, use our waterways for recreation or aquaculture, or value the environmental contribution they make to our region, now is the time to have your say," Mr De Szell said. "While we understand the complexities associated with a project of this scale, and that everyone's situation is different, we've developed a range of resources and have made our team available to answer enquiries by phone and email."

For further assistance about how the proposed changes impact your individual circumstances, contact Land Use Planning team:

  • email your questions, including your property address, to rural@midcoast.nsw.gov.au; or
  • call 02 7955 7777 during business hours to speak with a planner or arrange a call-back appointment

"This is a significant and exciting body of work that will inform the next stage in consolidating our planning controls across the region, and we encourage everyone to get involved."

The draft Rural Strategy is open for feedback until 4.30pm on Friday, November 19. Information and submissions can be made online at www.haveyoursay.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/draft-rural-strategy, by at email council@midcoast.nsw.gov.au or by mail (PO Box 482 Taree NSW 2430), making sure to quote the reference Rural Strategy SPR 02/04.