The MidCoast region is experiencing an exciting phase of growth in our urban areas.

In order to ensure we are prepared for future urban development in our region, we have reviewed the land in the MidCoast that is earmarked for future housing and business growth.

Our Urban Release Areas Report will help support the future development of potential new housing and business opportunities in the MidCoast. The purpose of the document is to consolidate previous strategies and regional plans about land in the MidCoast region and its suitability for urban development.

This document analyses whether land is considered suitable for urban development, and if so, outlines set timeframes when this land can be rezoned in the future; to provide additional land supply to meet demand of our region that is experiencing growth.

The report was adopted by the elected Council in July 2021 and has been referred to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for endorsement.

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View the MidCoast Urban Releases Areas Report here

To view the MidCoast Urban Release Areas Report document in full-screen in the interactive PDF viewer above, select the bracket icon at the bottom-right side the toolbar to enable full-screen.

If you are having trouble viewing the document in the interactive PDF viewer, you may also download the full MidCoast Urban Release Areas Report in the Document library on this page.

Exhibition period

Exhibition period

During May and July 2021 we took a draft Settlement Expansion and Redevelopment Opportunities Analysis Report to our community for comment.

The feedback received from the community was considered and some changes made to the draft document.

Feedback and changes in response

During the consultation period 64 submissions were received and assessed by Council.

A summary of the submissions can be found in the Document library on this page.

This document also outlines the changes that were made to the document as a result of the feedback received.

Further discussion on the document took place during the Council meeting, with Councillors resolving to include ‘Forster growth area 6’ in the report as a short term opportunity when they adopted the report at the 28 July 2021 Ordinary Meeting. You can find the meeting minutes here.

Interested in similar projects?

Check out our Draft Rural Strategy for the MidCoast, our rural landscape zoning review to develop a clear, consistent, region-wide planning framework.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are questions about the draft review document, which was available to provide feedback on during the exhibition period.

Expansion and redevelopment of our settlements is something that affects landowners directly, and residents who live in proximity to the identified proposed urban development areas in the MidCoast region.

The draft review document’s aim is to identify a logical, short-medium term view of expansion of our region’s urban settlements, and give the community certainty about what areas can potentially be rezoned and the timeframes for this to occur. The document indicates a range of areas around the MidCoast where expansion may happen in the future.

The draft review document outlines all land parcels that can be potentially rezoned in the future to support urban developments across the MidCoast. In some cases it also identifies land that has been previously mapped for potential development that will no longer be considered, due to a range of environmental constraints and hazards.

Only land recommended for inclusion in an Urban Release Area will be able to be considered for rezoning and development for urban purposes.

For further information about what land has been mapped for expansion, please refer to the draft Settlement Expansion and Redevelopment Opportunities Analysis Report in the Document library on this page.

The draft review document identifies urban expansion areas across the MidCoast to cater for expected future housing and employment growth. It shows the areas that will have the opportunity to be rezoned for urban purposes. The draft review document specifies if the expansion of these areas are short (1-5years), medium (6-10years) or long term (10+ years) priorities based on the rate of expected growth. Only those areas mapped in the document will be considered for future rezoning proposals.

As a member of the community it is important to know that this draft review document does not rezone land, nor provide any approval for development.

It is simply a list of the places that may be considered for development in the future and represents a minor review of existing proposed urban release areas.

There is a formal process to rezone land that involves the landholder submitting a planning proposal. This is a process that involves a range of studies on the land and includes the opportunity for neighbours and the wider community to comment before a decision is made on a rezoning.

All planning proposals are reviewed and either approved or rejected by the elected Council and the State government.

If a planning proposal is approved and the land in question is rezoned, there is a separate development application process for the developer to go through before any development is ultimately approved on the land.

All landowners impacted by the draft review as outlined above have been individually contacted. If you have not received any direct contact regarding the review, then the draft review document doesn’t directly apply to you.

This draft review impacts on 50 sites across the MidCoast, and outlines the land that is included for potential future expansion and the land that is no longer identified for urban growth.

Of the 47 previously identified urban growth areas, 37 have been determined to be appropriate and are retained in the draft document.

Two of the 47 areas have been expanded – at Diamond Beach and Taree West.

There are 10 areas that were previously identified that are no longer supported as a result of the review.

These areas are located across the MidCoast (Forster, Bulahdelah, Karuah, Lansdowne, Green Point, two areas in Harrington and three in Nabiac) and have been excluded because of environmental constraints and hazards on the land.

There have also been three additional opportunities identified:

  • 1 new in-town redevelopment opportunity identified (former Peter’s Dairy Factory Taree)
  • 1 town centre to be redefined (Tallwoods Village)
  • 1 new marina site identified (Tea Gardens [Parry’s Cove])

If your land is identified in the review you will have been individually contacted by our team. You would have received a letter from us, it includes details on how you can obtain further information on your specific circumstances.

Landowners may fall into three categories identified in the draft review document. These are:

  • Landowners who have previously had their land identified for potential future urban expansion in previous strategies and regional plans, and will continue to have their land identified for potential future urban expansion;
  • Landowners who have not previously had their land identified for potential future urban expansion in previous strategies and regional plans; and will now have their land identified for potential future urban expansion; or
  • Landowners who have previously had their land identified for potential future urban expansion in previous strategies and regional plans, and will not continue to have their land identified for potential future urban expansion, due to identified constraints and hazards.

You will be able to put in a planning proposal to rezone the land for development once the proposed timeframe indicated in the draft document has been met. This proposal will need to go through the appropriate approval processes, which include community consultation. However, you may also wish to take no further action once your land has been identified, and continue to use your land as is.

Some land that was previously identified as a potential urban expansion area has been removed and development is no longer a possible option for the landowner. These changes are due to a number of reasons, including environmental hazards such as flood-prone land and environmental corridors. This has occurred in 10 sites in the MidCoast region.

It is important to note, landowners not mapped in the draft document as an expansion area will not be able to submit applications for rezoning due to the concerns stated above. This may be of concern to you, therefore we encourage you to get in touch with us by one of the following contact options below if you have any questions.

You can find out whether your land is included by reviewing the draft review document here or in the Document Library on this page.