Planning proposals

Planning rules aim to manage growth, and to guide and assess development proposals. While some of these rules are adopted by Council, many are State rules.  

Make a Planning Proposal or DCP amendment application

An application for a Planning Proposal (PP) can be made to amend either of the three Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) in place in the MidCoast.

A PP was formerly known as a 'Rezoning' and can be a map amendment (such as changing the zone, height or lot size of a property), an amendment to Schedule 1 Additional permitted uses (to permit a use that is currently prohibited on a specific property) or it can be an amendment to the wording of a clause or landuse table within a zone in the LEP.

Council processes PPs predominantly under its Release Area Program, which facilitates the provision of additional land for residential and employment growth. To be eligible land must firstly be identified in an adopted strategy, such as Council’s MidCoast Urban Release Areas Report July 2021, and rezoning must be sought within the time period identified in the document. This ensures that the PP can meet the ‘strategic merit’ requirement of the State Government for the rezoning of land.

The process for rezoning land can be lengthy (in excess of 12 months), costly (over $300,000) and complex (involving many studies and consultation with a number of State Government agencies). While anyone can lodge an application and pay the relevant fee, the PP that accompanies the application must be prepared by a qualified town planner in Council’s template in accordance with relevant State Government guidelines and lodged on the NSW Planning Portal.

Applications for a Development Control Plan (DCP) amendment are typically only undertaken due to necessity – for example clause 6.3 of Greater Taree LEP 2010 and Great Lakes LEP 2014 requires a DCP to be prepared for urban release areas (land recently rezoned) to effectively masterplan each development prior to development approvals being able to be sought.

While the fees for Council processing this type of application are less than a PP, there is often substantially more work required to support the application, in the form of additional studies which may be required to inform the masterplan. Council expects this additional work to cost the applicant between $50,000 and $1m, dependent on the size and complexity of issues affecting the site. DCP amendments are lodged with Council, not on the NSW Planning Portal.

Anyone considering whether to lodge a PP or DCP amendment are required to firstly talk to our Land Use Planning team to see whether their proposal may have Strategic Merit to then proceed to a formal pre-lodgement meeting and subsequent lodgement of the application.

LEP - Local Environmental Plan

Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) guide planning decisions for local government areas. They do this through zoning and development controls, which provide a framework for the way land can be used. LEPs are the main planning tool to shape the future of communities and also ensure local development is done appropriately.

LEPs tell you what you can and cannot do on your land, whereas DCPs tell you how you can do it.

You can view copies of our three LEP's and their associated maps by following the links below.

Council plans to transition the current three LEPs into a single MidCoast LEP - see our Know Your Urban Zone and Know Your Rural Zone pages for more information.

DCP - Development Control Plan

Development Control Plans (DCPs) provide detailed planning and design guidelines to support the planning controls in the Local Environmental Plan (LEP). A DCP helps to make sure development is consistent, sustainable and meets the community's expectations. Individual parts of the DCP's will assist you while you are planning your development. Depending upon the type of development and location, you may need to address a number of chapters of a DCP when lodging a Development Application.

Please note that if you are undertaking Exempt or Complying Development, you do not need to take the DCP into consideration.

You can view copies of our three DCPs by following the links below.

Great Lakes Region

Gloucester Region

Manning Region

Council plans to transition the current three DCPs into a single MidCoast DCP - see our Zoning In page for more information on this project.

State Environmental Planning Policies

State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) are rules that cover development and environmental planning issues across New South Wales. A SEPP may override our Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP). 

For information on State Environmental Planning Policies, please click here to access the NSW Legislation website.