We are seeking community feedback on our new draft Local Environmental Plan (LEP) that provides the planning controls and framework that guides development in the MidCoast.

We currently have three Local Environmental Plans, from the former Council areas, that have different approaches resulting in an inconsistent planning framework across the MidCoast.

Having one MidCoast LEP will provide a consistent direction on how development in the MidCoast will occur.

It will provide more certainty for the community, the development industry and will achieve good planning outcomes.


The draft MidCoast LEP will provide a consistent approach and improved planning controls.

We have worked with the community, development industry and NSW Government over the past four years to identify existing challenges and means to address them.

During this time, we have developed a Housing Strategy, Rural Strategy and undertaken zoning reviews to guide our future direction and have checked in with the community through extensive consultation.

We have also drawn controls from recently approved Local Environmental Plans across NSW to provide the most up-to-date provisions and have included recent NSW Government reforms.

All of this has provided the foundations for the draft MidCoast LEP.


All land in the MidCoast has a land use zone. These zones apply to where we live, work, shop and play.

Zones dictate what can (and can’t) be done in your neighbourhood – from the way the land can be used and the size of lots, to the types of buildings and heights.

Almost all of our zones are changing in some way, so it is important to understand the controls in place in your zone and the impact the proposed changes will have.

In some areas this impact will be very minimal and be only a zone name change, other zones have more changes. This is happening to create consistency and use the full suite of zones available.

Our rural zones are changing to meet NSW Government requirements.

There is an element of change to the planning controls for all rural lands. It may just be the name, the lot sizes, or the uses allowed in the zone. We would like feedback from our farmers on these new rural zones.

We have also updated our conservation zones to ensure a consistent approach across the MidCoast and to ensure they meet NSW Government requirements.

Employment zones have also been reviewed to provide more flexibility to meet future business and industry needs, particularly around the Manning Health/Taree CBD area.


In the draft MidCoast LEP we are using all six zones available to us. This is a change from the current plans.

Using the full suite of available residential zones gives us more flexibility for growing our communities in a way that is sympathetic to the amenity of the neighbourhood.

This means, for example, some neighbourhoods in the Great Lakes will move from a ’low density’ residential zone to a ‘general residential’ zone. While the name is changing, the type of development that can take place in the area is relatively unchanged.

In other cases, the zone names will remain, however, the way they are used and what will be allowed will change.

The table below shows how that may impact you.

graph showing that the previous council areas did not use all zone available, the new MidCoast LEP uses all zones

We encourage you to find out more and understand what changes are proposed in your neighbourhood.


The current plans have a dominant rural zone. Greater Taree and Gloucester both used the ‘primary production’ zone, while Great Lakes used the ‘rural recreation’ zone.

Since we checked in with the community in 2021-2022 on the Rural Strategy, the rural zones have changed to meet the NSW Government requirements. The draft MidCoast Local Environmental Plan will now use the full suite of rural zones, applied according to the rural character.

  • The sloping rural lands in the west will be included in the ‘rural landscape’ zone with a minimum lot size of 100 hectares.
  • Lands within the Gloucester basin will be included in the ‘primary production’ zone with a minimum lot size of 60 hectare.
  • Coastal rural lands will be included in the ‘primary production small lots’ zone, typically with a 40 hectare minimum lot size, with some existing areas of 20 hectares being retained.

There is an element of change to the planning controls for all rural lands. It may just be the name, the lot sizes, or the uses allowed in the zone. We would like feedback from our farmers on these new rural zones.

graph showing that the previous council areas did not use all zone available, the new MidCoast LEP uses all zones


In the draft MidCoast LEP the conservation zones remain relatively unchanged from how they are used in the current plans. The draft plan has ensured a consistent approach to these zones and updated them to meet NSW Government requirements.

The exception is the ‘environmental living’ zone which has been expanded to apply to land currently in a rural zone but not typically used for agriculture. They adjoin a National Park, have sensitive vegetation or waterways and often contain bushland, are home to fauna, and have an outlook over the natural landscape. They are ‘lifestyle’ lots nestled amongst the natural landscape, not intended for a range of rural activities.

  • Have your say

    We're seeking community input to ensure that the LEP meets the needs of our community.

    Have your say by 11:59pm Sunday 14 July


    Read the Planning Proposal and make a submission 

Frequently Asked Questions & Factsheets

We have created additional resources to help with understanding the proposed changes