A planning proposal to rezone land as the Mount Vincent Road Proposed Urban Release Area is on public exhibition with Maitland Council.
The purpose of the planning proposal is to amend the Maitland Local Environmental Plan 2011 (LEP) to identify the land as an urban release area and rezone approximately 21.3 hectares of RU2 Rural Landscape zoned lands to general residential zoned lands and environmental management land.
Maitland City Council's Strategic Planning manager Andrew Neil said the planning proposal was aligned with the Greater Newcastle
"There's a 6.2 hectare parcel which is a fairly cleared area of the site, there's very little remnant trees on there. So that's proposed to be rezoned into a R1 residential zone, " he said.
"The remainder of the site which is 15 hectares is going to rezoned from RU2 which is a rural zone, to E3 which is an environmental zone. That's to more appropriately protect the ecological value and environmental sensitivity of that land. As part of that zoning we've also picked up flood prone land."
The land is included in Maitland's Urban Settlement Strategy and Local Strategic Planning Statement as land for future residential investigation. "It's actually a really positive outcome for the site," Mr Neil said.
"We've been working with the landowner for the last three years to achieve a proposal that balances the need for housing in the area with the need to protect and manage the quality vegetation on the site.
"By doing this rezoning to the environment zone, we can actually achieve a much better environment outcome than leaving it as a rural zone because it's a more controlled zone that specifically aims to protect the environmental values."
The planning proposal will facilitate the development of potentially 85 to 100 residential lots, subject to a development application assessment.
"We need to respond to the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan and Hunter Regional Plan which sets out that the Hunter region is going to grow," Mr Neil said.
"Because of how Maitland is positioned in terms of our large areas of cleared land, we do have a pretty high percentage of development happening in our LGA.
"It's also a response to people wanting to move here because it's a great place to live."
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 residential and environmental zones.
The Planning Proposal is on public exhibition until July 6. Visit maitlandyoursay.com.au for more information and to have your say.