Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is inviting the community to provide feedback on a strategy to address population growth until the year 2036.
The aim of the Urban Growth Management Strategy is to identify opportunities and areas for growth across the region, so planning and investment by government and the private sector can be coordinated.
Cr Lee Dixon said the draft plan was compiled from extensive research and from consultation with a number of groups.
He said he encourages the community to read the Urban Growth Management Strategy and to provide feedback on the points raised in the document.
“I think it is the time for the community to ensure that they get involved now,” he said.
“That consultation is really key.”
Cr Peter Alley said the strategy was the accumulation of a large amount of work and a ‘proactive response’ to growth.
Cr Alley said he was confident the plan incorporated a balancing act between preserving the natural beauty of the Camden Haven environment while also incorporating action to address growth.
“This (the strategy) says where we’re going to expand but at the same time it identifies where we are not going to expand,” he said.
“So it sets the boundary on the human habitation side of the area.”
The strategy outlines Lake Cathie and the Bonny Hills area is anticipated to experience significant population growth in the period to 2036, given the natural attraction of the coastal villages and the relatively short commute to Port Macquarie.
The area is anticipated to be the second fastest growing urban area in the Port Macquarie-Hastings. The plan outlines the population is set to increase from 6,300 in 2016 to over 10,000 by 2036.
Planned future development is orientated along the coast between Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills including the mast planned Rainbow Beach release area which has the capacity for 1300 dwellings, primary schools, playing fields and a village centre to provide retail and community facilities.
Meanwhile the Camden Haven is anticipated to grow from 9,200 residents in 2016 to just over 11,000 by 2036. New residential development is taking place including the Laurieton Residential Resort manufactured housing estate and a substantial planned urban release area to the east of Kew.
The strategy also includes planning for a new light industrial area to serve the growing population in Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills.
Cr Dixon said it’s important for the character of the coastal villages to be maintained and this had been addressed in the strategy.
Community members are invited to chat with council staff and comment on the draft plan at Lake Cathie on November 14 between 1pm and 2.30pm outside Woolworths or 3pm-4.30pm at Lake Cathie Community Hall.
Council staff will also be at Laurieton on Wednesday, November 22 between 1pm and 2.30pm outside Coles and 3pm-4.30pm at Laurieton School of the Arts.
The draft strategy will be available for community input until December 22 at council’s website pmhc.nsw.gov.au/ugms, by visiting council offices in Laurieton, Port Macquarie and Wauchope or by calling 6581 8111.