Draft MidCoast Rural Strategy - released and now on public exhibition


bobreidTuesday, 31 August 2021 - 6:13pm

MidCoast Council has completed its Draft Rural Strategy and placed it on public exhibition on its website. It is open for review and feedback until Friday 19 November 2021.

This draft strategy has been developed over the past couple of years and is based on a rigorous and systematic analysis of the issues associated with the use and protection of rural land within the MidCoast area.

It can be accessed via the following link: Draft Rural Strategy for the MidCoast | Have Your Say

What is it all about?

The strategy sets out Council's proposed framework for clear and consistent land use planning principles to sustainably manage the use of land and water resources outside of MidCoast towns and villages, and is the final body of work in the MidCoast Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP) framework. Proposed changes to Council's current planning tools include:

  • bringing rural land into a single zone with consistent rules about what landowners can do on their properties;
  • changing the standard minimum lot size for subdivision in Council's western regions from 100 ha to 40ha, so rural lands have a consistent minimum lot size across the MidCoast; 
  • protecting critical water resources in the aquifer catchments of Nabiac and Tea Gardens by changing from a rural to an environmental management zone, and
  • identifying and providing a high-level analysis report on land within paper subdivisions in the MidCoast.

What is a paper subdivision?

One of the issues that the draft strategy addresses is paper subdivisions. The non-urban land surrounding the North Arm Cove village I s a paper subdivision, and is currently zoned Rural Landscape RU2.

A “paper subdivision” is a term used to describe land containing lots that only have recognition on paper and, in most cases, have no formed roads, drainage, reticulated water, sewer or electricity. Most paper subdivisions have been in existence for many years.

The North Arm Cove paper subdivision originated in 1918 when it was approved by the then Stroud Council. Houses are not normally permitted to be built on the lots in paper subdivisions.

There are about 12 paper subdivisions in the MidCoast Council area. Nearby paper subdivisions include land adjacent to Bundabah, Pindimar and Carrington villages.

The Paper Subdivision report that was prepared as part of developing the Rural Strategy contains a description of each of the paper subdivisions, the constraints associated with developing them, and recommendations on the most appropriate zoning.

The Paper Subdivision report can be accessed via the following link: Paper Subdivision Report

I have attached a diagram that shows the North Arm Cove paper subdivision extent.

What is proposed for the North Arm Cove paper subdivision?

The section on North Arm Cove is quite interesting. It contains a summary of the history of the paper subdivision, a description, copies of historical maps and plans, and recommendations.

The recommendation for the North Arm Cove paper subdivision is that:

  • land that is affected by coastal wetlands be rezoned E2 Environmental Conservation, and
  • the remaining areas be allocated an E3 Environmental Management zone and a minimum lot size of 20 hectares, to reflect the environmental constraints and management requirements.    

If this recommendation is adopted, then to obtain consent to erect a dwelling, the lot must be at least 20 hectares in area. Under the current zoning, at least 40 hectares in area is needed to obtain consent to erect a dwelling.

Does the draft rural strategy apply to the North Arm Cove village?

Yes it does, the North Arm Cove village is currently zoned Rural Village RU5, so it is included in the strategy.

However, under the draft strategy the zoning of the village will stay as RU5 Village, with controls similar to the current ones. According to the draft strategy, "The vision for the zone is to retain flexibility in the evolution and development of smaller villages, enabling them to respond to their own specific needs, whilst maintaining the character of the area."

How do I give feedback on the draft strategy?

You can provide feedback on the draft strategy on-line using the form at the bottom of this link: Know Your Rural Zone | Have Your Say.

You have until 4:30pm on Friday 19 November 2021 to provide feedback.


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