Rural Communities

  Rural Development, Lands and Planning

The development of rural lands needs to take into account State legislation, policies and directions, the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy 2006  and Maitland’s Local Environment Plan 1993 and City Wide Development Control PlanUrban Settlement Strategy and the Rural Strategy amongst other things.

The Maitland Rural Strategy (2005) aims to provide a land use planning and management framework to guide future decisions about the use of the City’s rural lands. It is specifically concerned with maintaining the economic viability of agriculture and protecting the natural, ecological and scenic quality of the rural environment. This should be read in conjunction with the following:

The Lower Hunter Regional Strategy (2006) sets out the State’s vision for the Region, for its growth and prosperity and for the protection of the environment.

The Maitland Greening Plan (2002) sets out a strategic framework for the future management of vegetation in the Maitland area, focusing on the remaining natural vegetation and the potential for revegetation. It includes measures to address land degradation, improve wildlife corridors for biodiversity management and opportunities for the inclusion of woodlots and farm forestry.

Maitland has established polices on large sheds and garages, erosion & sediment control, drainage & drainage, fences, the keeping of animals, easements and ecologically sustainable development.

Section 94 & Section 94a Plans  refer to a levy on development which may apply, to either commercial or residential development.

There is a significant resource on the Department of Primary Industries website on agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, forests and minerals.


Maitland has established polices on broiler farms, the control of burning of vegetation, horse and cattle keeping, large sheds and garages, erosion & sediment control, keeping of animals, pets, noxious weeds, and ecologically sustainable development. 

Other Useful Information:


The Department of Environment Climate Change and Water manages the natural and cultural heritage across the state, promotes sustainable consumption, resource use and waste management and regulates activities to protect the environment. Their web site contains information on threatened species, nature and conservation, and small changes that can be made to help the environment under Sustainable Living.

There is a significant resource on the Department of Primary Industries web site on agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, forests, minerals, environmental management systems and climate and weather

The Council's Environmental Pages also provide useful information.  

Environmental hazards & education



The Department of Natural Resources work is divided into three core areas: water management, soil and vegetation management, and coastal and floodplain management.

Acid sulfate soils    are widespread along the margins of the NSW coast, in estuarine floodplains and coastal lowlands, including urban areas, farmland, mangrove tidal flats, salt marshes and tea-tree swamps. These soils include those that are producing acid (actual acid sulfate soils) and those that could become acid producing (potential acid sulfate soils).

Salinity   is the accumulation of salt in the soil. It is one of the major issues facing the NSW landscape. The problem affects both urban and rural landscapes.

There is a significant resource on the Department of Primary Industries web site on Agriculture, Minerals

There is detailed information regarding soils on-line.

Soil Conservation   


The City of Maitland has long been regarded as a special place. The Hunter River has brought life to the region, from Aboriginal habitation many thousands of years ago to the comparably recent European settlement in the early 1800's. Maitland retains a rich and diverse legacy of Aboriginal and European cultural values as demonstrated through local communities, places and historic settlements.