Planning Rules

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.

The process can be lengthy (in excess of 18 months), costly (over $200,000) 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. Our Planning Proposal and Development Control Plan Applications Policy provides more detail on the process and types of PPs processed by Council, following the process set by the NSW Government.

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 support the masterplan and preparation of the masterplan itself. Council expects this additional work to cost the applicant between $50,000 and $1M, and this is dependent on the size and complexity of issues affecting the site.

Due to the resource intensive nature of PP & DCP amendment applications (ie impact on staff workloads), all applications are run on a full user-pays basis. This involves not only payment by the applicant of processing fees for Council’s work on the application, but also the cost of Council’s engagement of an external town planning consultant to run the process on Council’s behalf.

Anyone considering whether to lodge a PP or DCP amendment are required to firstly talk to our Strategic Planning team to see whether their proposal has Strategic Merit, and whether it is likely to receive any priority in Council’s work program.

Please use this form to lodge an application. Application for Council to prepare a Planning Proposal and/or Development Control Plan.



Current Planning Proposals and DCP Amendments

From time to time Council makes changes to the Local Environment Plans and the Development Control Plans. Current changes are listed below, and additional information on the Planning Proposals is available on the NSW Government’s LEP Tracker website

Tallwood Drive and Old Soldiers Road, Rainbow Flat - Amendment to Greater Taree LEP 2010

Address: Tallwoods Drive and Old Soldiers Road, Rainbow Flat 2430

Lot/Section/DP: Lots 4 and 5 DP 243425, and Lot 22 DP 255386

Proposed change: Rezone approximately 107 hectares of land currently zoned RU1 Primary Production to part R5 Large Lot Residential and other parts to E2 Environmental Conservation or E3 Environmental Management. Amend the associated Land Zoning, Lot Size and Height of Buildings maps. The Planning Proposal is also to be progressed in conjunction with two planning agreements.

The rezoning of this land will include a commitment of the landowners to partially fund the realignment of Old Soldiers Road around Khappinghat Nature Reserve, providing a practical alternative road access to Blackhead Road for Hallidays Point residents. This will provide a much needed alternative emergency access (in the case of bushfires or an accident on Blackhead Road), something Council has been planning since the late 1990s.

NSW Government issued proposal number: N/A

Current status: The Planning Proposal is currently with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for a new Gateway Determination.


Bulahdelah Highway Service Centre - Amendment to Great Lakes LEP 2014

Address: 9844 The Pacific Highway, Bulahdelah 2423 

Lot/Section/DP: Lot 100 DP 1139447 

Proposed change: The proposal seeks to amend Schedule 1 of the LEP to permit a highway service centre on suitable areas of the land, and excision of the highway service centre by subdivision. The Additional Uses Map will also be updated to identify the site. 

A Planning Agreement is also proposed to identify improvements to Bulahdelah that the applicant will fund to mitigate any short-term adverse economic impacts that the development may have on Bulahdelah business community. 

NSW Government issued proposal number: PP_2018_MCOAS_004_01 

Current status: Gateway determination issued allowing the Planning Proposal to proceed subject to conditions. Further work is being undertaken in accordance with the conditions prior to exhibition.


Glenthorne Employment Area, Taree South - Amendment to Greater Taree LEP 2010 

Address: 51, 55 and 50 Glenthorne Road, Taree 2430 

Lot/Section/DP: Lot 50 DP 863972, Lot 2 DP 573214, Lot 2 DP 827097 

Proposed change: Rezone land currently zoned RU1 Primary Production to part IN1 General Industrial, B6 Enterprise Corridor and E2 Environmental Conservation. 

This rezoning will complement the Manning River Drive Business Park and existing business at Taree South, enhancing the importance of the southern gateway employment area. 

NSW Government issued proposal number: PP_2019_MCOAS_002_00 

Current status: Currently on exhibition until 10 May 2021.


Lake Street, Forster - Amendment to Great Lakes LEP 2014

Address: Land bound by Lake Street, Macintosh Street and Lake Lane, Forster. 

Lot/Section/DP: Lot A and B DP 334388, Lot 3 and 4 Section 13 DP 758422 and Lot 1 DP 863309 

Proposed change: Rezone land from R3 Medium Density Residential to R4 High Density Residential.

NSW Government issued proposal number: PP_2020_MCOAS_001_00 

Current status: Exhibition of the Planning Proposal is complete and submissions are currently being reviewed.  



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 Zoning In page for more information on this major project.



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). The SEPPs currently relevant to our local government area include: