Important agricultural land, significant views & landscapes

Consultation closing on 3 January 2022, 5:00PM

Aerial image of Broken Back Range and vineyards

Cessnock local government area is known for its rural character and picturesque viticultural and agricultural landscapes. 

As our region grows, urban development and activities have the potential to encroach on these agricultural lands.

We’re looking to retain, protect and enhance these significant areas to preserve the identity and character of our area, regional employment and food security. Help us identify these important agricultural areas.

FAQ – Why is this project being undertaken?

The project was identified as an action of immediate priority in the Cessnock Local Strategic Planning Statement 2036 to ensure development that occurs is appropriate and important agricultural assets are protected.

Cessnock’s landscape is characterised by gently undulating hills, the rugged terrain of the Broken Back Range, internationally significant national parks and vineyards, sparse unimposing rural development, and extensive areas of rural landscape.

These features help shape the character and identity of the area, and are important to our tourism industry, regional employment and food security.

FAQ – What is considered 'important agricultural land'?

Important agricultural land includes land that has potential or suitability for agricultural uses. This may be based on biophysical attributes, socio-economic factors, existing industries and potential future industries.

FAQ – What is considered 'significant agricultural landscapes'?

Significant agricultural landscapes include land that may not necessarily have potential to be used for agriculture but contribute to the character and amenity of farming, viticulture and agriculture in the LGA. This could include features such as mountain ranges, rolling hillsides, open paddocks, tree lined rural roads etc.

FAQ – What is considered 'significant views'?

Significant views include views of environmental land, agricultural land, and urban lookouts such as looking over a township. The criteria for sensitive view sheds is likely to include views from public land, such as roads, cycleways, trails and lookouts. This could include views to features such as national parks, heritage items and environmental lands. 

FAQ – What are the key agricultural industries in Cessnock?

The agricultural sector is diverse including poultry, crops, wine grapes, cattle and eggs.

FAQ – What will Council do with the information collected?

We’ll use the information to:

  • develop criteria for important agricultural land, significant agricultural landscapes and views
  • recommend the most appropriate measures for managing the important agricultural land, significant agricultural landscapes and views
  • draft development objectives and controls that can be used in a Development Control Plan (DCP), Local Environment Plan (LEP) or Policy document.

FAQ - Is this project the same as the state agricultural land mapping project?

No. The NSW Department of Primary Industries is undertaking a separate mapping program to identify state significant agricultural land only.

More information

The project is identified as of immediate priority in the Cessnock Local Strategic Planning Statement 2036 and forms part of our commitment to protecting and enhancing the natural environment and rural character of the area, a key theme of the Cessnock 2027 Community Strategic Plan.