Nulkaba Urban Investigation Area

Ongoing consultation

Nulkaba Urban Investigation Area

Project information

The Nulkaba Urban Investigation Area (NUIA) was identified in Council’s Urban Growth Management Plan (UGMP). The purpose of UGMP is to identify lands to house our growing community and to ensure that development of these areas is undertaken in a comprehensive way.

The investigation area is mostly the rural land to the west of the existing village. But as part of this investigation, Council will be looking at the whole of Nulkaba to see where there might be opportunities for additional development, opportunities to protect lands that have environmental or amenity values and those areas that might be constrained by things like flooding.

The investigation of the area has commenced. Council is working with the specialist consultants and landowners to prepare a high-level structure plan. Once this high-level plan is ready, Council will ask the Nulkaba Community what they think. This will feed into the preparation of much more detailed plans. And when these are ready, the Nulkaba Community will be consulted again.

Council is committed to ensuring the future development of Nulkaba maintains the village feel and lifestyle, protects important natural areas, contributes to walking and cycling opportunities and minimises the impact on the road network. 

There will be formal opportunities for the community to contribute to the plan throughout the process but you can contact Council’s Strategic Planning Team any time to discuss the project.

Urban Growth Management Plan

The Urban Growth Management Plan (UGMP) was adopted by Council in 2021. It sets out where we anticipate new growth occurring and when this should happen.

Council has committed to ensuring that there is between 10-15 years supply of new land for development and to meet different lifestyle needs and aspirations.

The Nulkaba Urban Investigation Area falls in the Village Lifestyle category. This category caters for the expansion of certain villages and provides opportunities for large lot residential development.


What is a Structure Plan, Planning Proposal, Contributions Plan and Development Control Plan?

A Structure Plan is a high-level plan that looks broadly at opportunities and constraints. It typically shows where development might go and where development won’t. A structure plan usually includes a draft road network, areas to be protected such as biodiversity corridors or important vegetation, it might show where new parks might go or new paths and cycleways. A structure plan is usually the basis for commencing discussions with the community and refining the development plan with studies.

A planning proposal is a more detailed plan that supports the rezoning of the land. To rezone the land, Council needs to understand in detail where the future development will go, what type of development it wants to occur in the area and what areas will be used for business, recreation, environmental protection and residential purposes. The planning proposal is considered by the Council and submitted to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for assessment.

A contributions plan is the way new development contributes to new and upgraded infrastructure (e.g roads) and the range of services that Council provides (e.g sporting facilities, libraries).

A development control plan guides how the subdivision will look and feel, and any other requirements to realise the envisaged development.

What are the current zones in Nulkaba?

The Cessnock Local Environmental Plan is the legal document that controls what you can do on your land. One of the ways is through land-use zones. There are a number of existing zones in the investigation area. These are:

  • R5 Large Lot Residential
  • RU5 Village
  • RU2 Rural Landscape
  • C2 Environmental Conservation

It is likely that the new areas will include areas of all of these zones.

The Local Environmental Plan also contains provisions that relate to minimum lot sizes. Again, there are a range of lot sizes in the investigation area and it is likely that these will be applied to the new development area.

More information about the Cessnock Local Environmental Plan and the zones can be found here.

How will the development affect traffic movement?

More people living in Nulkaba will mean more traffic will result. Council is investigating the likely traffic generated by the new development and what impacts this will have on the existing road network. The study, when complete will include recommendations about how to improve the network to minimise any impacts. New development can be a means to fund improvements to the road network and thereby alleviating existing issues.

What is a social impact assessment?

Changes to areas through development do have impacts on the existing community – both good and bad. A social impact assessment is prepared by an independent person. It allows you to bring your local knowledge about living in the local area to process. It is important for the community to have a say early on in the process, so that if there are negative impacts these can be identified and minimised and where there are positive impacts, these are enhanced.

A social impact assessment will be undertaken after the draft structure plan is prepared.