Future Planning

Planning Strategies & Studies

Draft Planning Strategies & Studies

Forster Civic Precinct Master Plan

Forster Tuncurry Crown Harbour Project


Planning Strategies & Studies

Planning Strategies assist government in deciding where, what type, how much, and when growth and development should occur and how this can be balanced with the protection of important natural features and qualities.

Planning Studies generally provide a more detailed assessment of future development constraints and opportunities within a paricular site or geographic area, but can also focus on investigating a particular planning issue (e.g. stormwater management; heritage). The findings of such studies are often used to inform future rezonings and/or planning controls.


Regional Strategies

The Department of Planning released the Mid-North Coast Regional Strategy in March 2009 which identifies potential urban and employment land release areas over the next 25 years (between 2006-2031). The Strategy will inform the preparation of local environmental plans, codes and policies within the Great Lakes Council area over this time. In association with the new Regional Strategy, the Department also introduced a new design document - North Coast Urban Design Guidelines.


Local Strategies & Studies

Local Strategies and Studies are generally developed to guide the future strategic development of land and to promote a balance of development and conservation within the local government area. In this regard Local Strategies provide a broad strategic land use framework and broad planning principles that Council must consider when assessing applications for rezoning/development, whilst both local planning strategies and studies are relied upon as background research documents in the preparation of new local environmental plans, development control plans and other policy documents.

Planning Strategy or Study

Date Adopted by Council

Smith's Lake Planning Study (Volume 1)

February 2000

Great Lakes Highway Service Centre Study and Strategy Report

May 2004

Great Lakes Rural Living Strategy

9 March 2004

Forster Tuncurry Conservation and Development Strategy

25 June 2003

Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Conservation and Development Strategy

14 October 2003

Housing Strategy for Forster Tuncurry

12 December 2006

Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Housing Strategy

28 November 2006

South Forster Structure Plan

13 February 2007

Great Lakes Heritage Study

22 May 2007

Urban Design and Density Review Forster Tuncurry and Tea Gardens Hawks Nest

22 July 2008

Forster Tuncurry Employment Lands Strategy

November 2009



Other Planning Strategies & Studies

The documents listed below include all proposed planning strategies and studies which shall determine the future scope of development and conservation within the Great Lakes.

Background Reports and Planning Reports

Status of Amendments to Local Environmental Plan 1996



Planning Strategies and Studies adopted by Council inform proposed amendments to legislative documents such as Great Lakes Local Environmental Plan 2014. These amendments are referred to as Planning Proposals.

The adopted Planning Strategies and Studies have also informed some provisions in the Great Lakes Development Control Plan.


It is recommended that prior to undertaking any development proposal, that you review the planning proposals and Draft documents mentioned above and any information that is currently On Exhibition.


Forster Civic Precinct Masterplan

At its Ordinary Council meeting on 28 August 2007 Council made the decision to close the Forster School of Arts following two reports from Structural Engineers which identified significant structural concerns with the building which was originally constructed in 1878 and extended in 1930 and 1956. Continued use of the Hall will be allowed under Restricted Use Guidelines.

Following Council's decision to close the School of Arts due to significant structural concerns and the high cost required to make the building safe, the community was invited to put forward their ideas and suggestions for possible community uses of the School of Arts site via a community survey.

The results of the survey support moving towards detailed planning of the School of Arts site to ensure that the development of community facilities on the site meet community needs and expectations well into the future. This site is a valuable community asset and any decision needs to be well thought out with detailed professional advice and community consultation.

Council resolved to prepare a Masterplan of the School of Arts and adjoining sites, known as the Forster Civic Precinct. The Masterplan process was required to include community consultation, a range of preliminary options and the eventual public exhibition of a draft Masterplan for the future development of community facilities in the Civic Precinct. The preparation, adoption and future implementation of the Masterplan has at all critical stages, been reported to Council for consideration and determination.

Strategic Committee Meeting 9 February 2010 report and minutes - adoption of Civic Precinct.

Strategic Committee Meeting 11 August 2009 report and minutes - land uses for Civic Precinct

Strategic Committee Meeting 12 May 2009 report and minutes - results of community consultation

Ordinary Council Meeting 23 July 2013 report and minutes - demolition of School of Arts, works on site and revisit of architectural design of Civic Precinct


Forster Civic Precinct Masterplan Civic Precinct Part 1 - Introduction, Civic Precinct Part 2 - AnalysisCivic Precinct Part 3 - Civic Design and Civic Precinct Part 4 - Appendix.



Forster Tuncurry Crown Harbour Project

The Forster Tuncurry Crown Harbour Project will establish a 30 year Plan of Management for Cape Hawke Harbour and the Crown lands along the CBD foreshores of the twin towns. The masterplan is being undertaken through a Memorandum of Understanding between the NSW Land and Property Management Authority (LPMA) and Great Lakes Council. City Plan Services (CPS) has been appointed consultant for the project.

Minister for Lands, Tony Kelly announced:

"The project is considering future safe harbour facilities for both lake and ocean going vessels, while preparing for expected demands on the harbour's waterfront for improved public access and public boating facilities in the near to long term future. The plan will identify opportunities to generate employment as well as reviewing commercial land uses to support the construction and maintenance of public facilities."

Mr Kelly said the plan will seek to support social, economic and environmental sustainability. "This is a very important opportunity for an integrated approach for the long term planning of this vital and beautiful area."

The process has advanced from "stakeholder" interviews in December 2009 and the Community Information Evening held in early March 2010.

The design phase involved the presentation of broad concepts for community consideration. Analysis information on the Project was available on the Land Property Management Authority website.


The public exhibition commenced on 12th August and closed at 5pm on Wednesday 15th September 2010. Exhibition information on the Project was available on the Land Property Management Authority website. Hard copies of these documents were also on display at the LPMA's office at 98 Victoria Street, Taree and at Great Lakes Council Chambers in Breese Parade Forster as well as the Forster Library also in Breese Parade, Forster.

The concept plans are currently being reviewed and amended in consideration of the community feedback and shall be presented back to the Land and Property Management Authority and Council during the first half of 2011.


The Harbour project is investigating short, medium and long term needs for all public foreshore lands and adjacent waters. Expanding marina facilities and looking at safe harbour options are a focus of the project as is improving foreshore public access and planning future public boating facilities. Concepts have identified opportunities to generate local employment as well as commercial land uses so funding may support the construction and maintenance of public facilities


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Last Updated: 23/05/2014