Thursday, April 25, 2024

MidCoast rural strategy released

Proposed changes to the way the NSW MidCoast region’s waterways, rural and environmental lands are managed are currently open for community feedback as part of the region’s draft rural strategy.

The draft MidCoast Rural Strategy sets out a proposed framework for clear and consistent land use planning principles to sustainably manage the use of land and water resources outside of the region’s towns and villages, and is the final body of work to inform a single MidCoast Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP).

Prepared by MidCoast Council’s Land Use Planning team, the draft 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% 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 – preparing the LEP and DCP”, Council’s Director of Liveable Communities, Paul De Szell, explained.

“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 Rural Strategy sets out to achieve four key goals: sustaining primary production opportunities; enhancing rural lifestyles and livelihoods; protecting natural landscapes; and improve planning and plan-making in practice.

Among other proposed changes, it looks at 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, Mr De Szell said.

“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. 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”.

The draft Rural Strategy is open for feedback until 4.30pm on Friday 19 November.


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