A planning proposal to rezone land in Gillieston Heights South for residential purposes is now on public exhibition.
Maitland City Council, working alongside Cessnock City Council, recently unveiled the Gillieston Heights South (Western Precinct) Proposed Urban Release Area – and, subsequently, seeks community feedback.
Some of the estate forms part of the Kurri Kurri Hydro industrial complex, too.
“There has been a collaborative approach between both councils and NSW Government departments to ensure a streamlined process and alignment across state and local development and infrastructure planning for the area,” Maitland City Council’s manager strategic planning Andrew Neil said.
“Council will also consider the potential biodiversity impacts of the proposal in parallel with the finalisation of the rezoning.
“A Biodiversity Certification Application to the NSW Government will support site specific studies for the proposed rezoning.
“It’ll identify the need to offset any potential impacts to biodiversity as well.
“Once rezoned, any future development would be subject to a DA (development application) and assessment in accordance with the provisions of the Maitland Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2011, site specific development controls and development contributions plan.”
While the industrial complex has ceased operation, the landowner has decided to investigate potential opportunities.
The southern portion of the facility, approximately 1300 hectares, is located in the Cessnock LGA – and subject to a separate tender.
Both the Maitland and Cessnock planning proposals are the result of the Kurri Kurri Hydro Rezoning Masterplan.
Consequently, they’re on public exhibition concurrently to ensure consistency and consideration of cross boundary impacts by the broader community.
However, one of the purposes of the planning proposal is to amend the Maitland LEP 2011 to identify the land as an urban release area and rezone approximately 57 hectares of RU2 rural landscape zoned lands to R1 general residential zoned lands.
It will also facilitate the development of potentially 380-to-420 residential lots, subject to a DA and assessment.
The proposed rezoning is supported by site specific studies, which identify a need to balance the proposed residential land use with the site constraints, which will be achieved through a mix of rural and residential zones.
The planning proposal and supporting information is on public exhibition until Monday 1 February, 2021, and council welcomes comment.