As part of reviewing the zones used for planning across the MidCoast region, we're zoning in on our employment zones.
Employment zones are our "business hubs" or the areas we head to for work. These zones support our local economy, and the 10,000 business-owners who contribute over $3 billion in Gross Regional Product for the MidCoast region every year.
The two zones that fall under this category for planning purposes are:
- Business - ranging from cafes and bars, to retail outlets, offices and entertainment facilities
- Industrial - ranging from light industry such as food production or furniture restoration, through to heavy industry like mining or manufacturing
The project currently being undertaken involves a review of the relevant State, regional and local strategies relating to our employment zones, along with assessing the existing business and industrial zones in the MidCoast area. It won't alter the amount of land made available to businesses across the MidCoast, but the outcome may point to further investigation as part of a future Employment Lands Strategy for the Midcoast.
The overall aim of the review is to develop a planning framework for these zones that:
- encourages economic growth in our business centres
- enables industrial development in appropriate locations
Why are our employment zones being reviewed?
Currently the way we treat business and industrial zones in each of the three former regions is significantly different and in isolation of each other. Now is the time to re-think the opportunities and constraints to commercial and industrial land use throughout the new MidCoast local government area.
Our region is identified in the Hunter Regional Plan, requiring us to consider how land use and development can capitalise on our location, natural and built assets to benefit our communities and importantly our economy. The importance of supporting economic growth is also recognised through the NSW Government's MidCoast Regional Economic Development Strategy and in our own Destination Management Plan and Community Strategic Plan.
The Employment Zones Review aims to establish a clear hierarchy and planning framework for our employment zones that has relevance and consistency across the entire MidCoast region. It is about supporting our local businesses.
The results of the review will feed into the larger Zoning in on our future project, to develop a clear, consistent planning framework that will guide the way we manage land use across the entire local government area.