Studies & Strategies

On this page we have placed planning studies and strategies from the former three Council regions, as well as the new ones being prepared for MidCoast Council. 

Planning For Our Future

Rural Opportunity and Land Use Strategy (ROLUS)

Council at its’ Ordinary Meeting on 26 April 2017 noted that consultants had been appointed and work had progressed, on the Mid-Coast Council Rural Economic Diversity Strategy.

In July 2017 work on the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS), an initiative of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, through the Centre for Economic and Regional Development (CERD), commenced.

Additional information on the Regional Strategy can be found here.

 In response to the Regional Strategy, the scope and parameters of the Rural Strategy were reviewed and the project renamed the Rural Opportunity and Land Use Strategy (ROLUS/Rural Strategy).

 At the Council meeting on 23 August 2017 it was confirmed that the overall objective of the Rural Opportunity and Land Use Strategy will be the provision of clear and informed land use planning recommendations that will provide a framework for the preparation of a new comprehensive Mid-Coast local environmental plan and development control plan.

 Work on the Rural Strategy is expected to complement the findings and recommendations of the Regional Strategy and be complete within the next 12 months. The preparation and development of the Rural Strategy will involve significant consultation with key industries, state agencies and community members.

 The revised scope of the Rural Opportunity and Land Use Strategy is:

 Establish an indicative spatial framework to protect agricultural lands, making specific reference to agricultural (or related) sectors identified as regional and local-level priority sectors (within the new Regional Economic Diversity Strategy). This will be developed in consultation with the NSW Department of Primary Industries and will aim to identify:

  • areas that are considered strategically important due to specific land capabilities;
  • areas that are otherwise considered strategically important to existing or emerging priority sector agribusiness ‘clusters’; and
  • areas that may be suitable for agricultural (or related) activities, but only with appropriate consideration of environmental or other constraints; and
  • areas that are considered to be environmentally or otherwise constrained and unsuitable for agricultural purposes
  • Investigate the current application of rural, environmental and waterway zones across the local government area and make recommendations on the application of a new land use planning framework that considers:
  • continuation and diversification of agricultural activities, including terrestrial and aquatic based industries;
  • management of extractive industries and associated land use conflicts in the rural landscape;
  • integration of tourism activities across the landscape; and
  • other commercial and industrial uses (particularly those considered to be unsuitable in urban areas); and
  • non-rural land uses in the rural landscape and how any conflicts may be addressed.
  • Investigate and identify:
  • areas within the rural landscape that have characteristics more closely associated with rural residential or village areas, that should be considered for inclusion in a residential or village zone;
  • areas across the rural landscape that have environmental constraints; site or development characteristics that preclude agricultural and other rural activities, that should be considered for inclusion in an alternative zone; and
  • how lot sizes in the rural landscape contribute to the local, regional, state and national economies, to inform the future application of this development standard. It is anticipated that the Regional Strategy may also provide some guidance on this matter.
  • Formulate criteria to assist in determining which activities should be prioritised in rural locations

Consider how issues such as land use conflict and biosecurity may affect agricultural land and activities to ensure productivity and profitability of agriculture (and aquaculture) within the context of local, regional, state and national economies.

Housing Diversity and Affordability Strategy (HDAS)

Council at its’ Ordinary Meeting on 28 June 2017 resolved as follows:
105/17     RESOLVED (Turner) (as per recommendation)
That a brief be prepared, based on the scope and outcomes set out in the report, and consultants engaged to prepare a Housing Diversity and Affordability Strategy for MidCoast Council.
The HDAS is expected to be commenced in the next 6 months (as resources permit) and is expected to take 12-18 months to complete. The HDAS will involve significant consultation with our community during its development.
The scope of this strategy is as follows:
·    Respond to the directions of the Hunter Regional Plan relating to housing diversity;
·    review the current type and form of housing area;
·    assess appropriate lot sizes to deliver diversity;
·    review demographic trends and policies to determine whether the current style of housing will effectively provide for the housing needs of the future population;
·    identify the types and form of housing that will be of benefit to the future population;
·    determine whether there are any gaps in the housing needs of the existing and future population;
·    identify practical means of achieving a greater variety in form and type of housing for the future population and satisfying special needs groups;
·    identify opportunities for maximising residential densities (in appropriate locations);
·    identify planning measures to ensure that the desired urban form and densities for residential precincts are practically achieved;
·    identify key needs and issues in regard to greater access to affordable housing;
·    identify what strategies Council can implement in order to address affordable housing needs and issues;
·    detail a strategic action plan to deliver sustainable affordable housing options;
·    recommend modifications to Council's planning instruments to better achieve affordable housing;
·    assess the affordability of housing in the Study Area for a broad demographic and socio-economic range including, young and single parent families, the unemployed and the retired; and
·    investigate mechanism to achieve better affordability of housing for disadvantaged groups.

Manning Health and CBD Precinct Plan (MHCBD)

Content coming soon.

Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS)

The development of consistent Regional Economic Development Strategies across State regions is the initiative of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, through the Centre for Economic and Regional Development (CERD).

CERD is working closely with local councils to roll out the preparation of REDS, which apply standardised regional economic development methodology to identify existing economic strengths, new opportunities to enhance the region's development, performance and competitiveness and to set the region on a path to sustainable economic development.

More information about REDS can be found here.

Endorsed Strategies

Gloucester Region

Gloucester Economic Strategy (2010)


 Great Lakes Region

Rural Living Strategy 
South Forster Structure Plan
 Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest Housing Strategy

Manning Region

Upper Hunter Region

Upper Hunter Region Economic Diversification Report (2011)