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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Departmental Media Release

Growing ideas for the Lower Hunter region's future

  • Date: 29.04.2019
  • Type: Departmental Media Release
  • Author: NSW Department of Planning and Environment

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment will be at Tocal Field Days this week to meet and talk with residents.


Acting Deputy Secretary, Planning and Design, Brett Whitworth, said the Department was keen to hear from locals about planning for new neighbourhoods in the lower Hunter region.


“The team is really excited to meet with locals for three big days of farming fun – and find out more about what everyone wants for their local community,” Mr Whitworth said.


“Tocal is a fantastic suburb, dotted with colonial farm buildings and with rich viticulture heritage. Only a stone’s throw from Greater Newcastle, Tocal, along with the entire Dungog local government area and nearby Maitland City, is a community that’s changing.


“Good planning and design will help guide the ongoing growth, renewal and revitalisation of Tocal and the lower Hunter region, while ensuring the community’s sense of identity and values are protected.


“The Department’s door is always open and now we’re taking to the road to get in front of as many people as we can.


“We want to hear your views on new suburbs we are helping to plan, including how we can best support existing and future residents of nearby Anambah, Aberglasslyn, Gillieston Heights, Bolwarra/Largs, Lochinvar, Thornton North, Louth Park and Farley.


“We’re also working closely with both Dungog Shire Council and Maitland City Council to make sure Everyone Can Play – no matter their age or ability.


“We’re investing $60,000 to upgrade Dungog’s aging playground to make it more inclusive, and $65,000 to create a new and exciting inclusive playground at Willow Drive in Metford.


“But that’s just the beginning. We need to hear more from the community, so we can ensure we are working together to create the best plans for the future.”


Department staff will be on hand to explain what the Department does, and to talk through local planning issues and proposals that may be important to residents, including the draft ‘Urban Design for Regional NSW’ guide.


“This is the first ever draft guideline that specifically addresses the unique environment, challenges and opportunities of the Hunter region,” Mr Whitworth said.


The Department’s team will be at Tocal Field Days, at Tocal Agricultural Centre, 815 Tocal Road, Paterson, on Friday, May 3, Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5, from 10am to 4pm.


More information on the communities we’re visiting.

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