Zoning in on our Future

Long term consultation process

Zoning in on our future logo

We're developing a new Local Environmental Plan (LEP) for the whole MidCoast region.

This will guide development and planning decisions, and will help to protect our natural resources.

An LEP includes zoning and development controls that allow council to manage the different ways in which land can be used.

We want our LEP to be based on contemporary planning principles.

The plan needs to provide clear and consistent guidelines for the community regarding development and environmental management.

MidCoast Council is currently operating with three Local Environmental Plans (LEP): Great Lakes LEP 2014, Gloucester LEP 2010 and Greater Taree LEP 2010.

Although each LEP has a similar format, the way in which zones and other controls have been applied varies significantly.

As a result, development on rural land and in our commercial and residential areas across the MidCoast is not able to be assessed or approved in a way that is consistent.

This situation causes unnecessary stress for land owners, community members, developers, businesses and Council officers.

A new LEP for the MidCoast local government area can only be achieved by consolidating, updating and rationalising the aims, objectives, development standards and provisions of the Great Lakes Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2014, Gloucester Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2010 and Greater Taree Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2010.  

Preparing an LEP Diagram

Key ingredients to make a new LEP:
  • Rural Opportunity and Land Use Strategy (ROLUS) - Council and consultants looking at planning controls in existing rural, environmental and waterway zoned areas
  • Housing Strategy - Council and consultants looking at planning controls for areas in existing residential zoned areas
  • Manning Health & CBD Precinct Plan - Council and consultants looking at the zones, development opportunities and constraints within and surrounding the Manning Base Hospital and Taree CBD
  • Employment Zones Review - Council looking at planning controls in existing business and industrial zones, and some areas where business and industrial activity occurs outside of these zones
  • Local Strategic Planning Statements – Councillor and community led statements establishing 20-year vision for land use in major MidCoast centres, identifying the special character and values to be preserved and planning priorities to focus on.

It's worth pointing out that the focus is not to identify additional areas for development, but to critically review and apply a new and clear hierarchy of zones and controls across the unique environment of the MidCoast.

Four key principles have been established to guide the review, updating and rationalisation of zones and planning controls from Gloucester, Great Lakes and Greater Taree LEP documents to form the consolidated MidCoast LEP:

Principle 1 - Acknowledge diversity and local character

To identify and protect our diverse and valuable natural landscapes and to recognise the desired roles and character of our different urban settlements.  

Principle 2 - Consistency with State

To prepare the local environmental plan in a manner consistent with State legislation and guidelines.

Principle 3 - Regional Policies and Plans

To apply the goals and actions for the MidCoast local government area contained in regional policies and plans.

Principle 4 - Council Strategies

To reflect the actions, goals and recommendations of Council strategies.

The preparation of the MidCoast LEP is expected to take up to three years:


Simply fill in the form below to join our mailing list for updates on the progress of the LEP and for consultation opportunities.

Click here to view form.

Our recent amalgamation provides an opportunity to re-think how Council plans for land use, conservation and development outside towns and villages, recognising the importance of rural and natural areas to our communities and economies.

We recognise that very different approaches were taken in each of the former local government areas, and that many of the relevant policies need to be updated to reflect more contemporary industry practices and community expectations.

Find out more detail about the ROLUS and become part of our consultation

As part of the LEP consolidation program Council is undertaking an Employment Zone Review (EZR).

A preliminary review has revealed that the existing Gloucester, Great Lakes and Greater Taree LEPs treated employment lands very differently and in isolation of each other.

The Review is not expected to change where business and industrial zones apply, but will establish a clear and consistent framework for these areas across the MidCoast.

Find out more detail about the EZR and become part of our consultation