A MASTER plan for the development of Laffing Waters has been praised for its innovative approach to future housing needs.
Bathurst Regional Council voted to adopt the master plan on May 15, with the documentation now on public exhibition.
Councillors Monica Morse and John Fry praised the plan for the way it addressed housing and community needs while incorporating the best design concepts.
"We have an amazing plan with all the latest concepts of what makes a good place," Cr Morse said.
"Bathurst in the old part grew like Topsy and it all went wrong in this place and in that place, so we're left with what we've got.
"This is the chance to do something really, really well."
Laffing Waters is considered "a crucial urban release and growth area for the city of Bathurst", which led council to engage Tract Consultants to prepare the master plan.
The subject area is around 360 hectares and includes a council development site off Laffing Waters Lane and other privately owned land.
If all goes to plan, it will feature a mix of lot sizes, with smaller lots generally located in the area close to the planned neighbourhood activity centre (NAC) and larger lots in the outer band.
Lot sizes would vary between 450 and 940 square metres.
The NAC would feature a 3500sqm supermarket, specialty stores and additional community facilities.
Separate to the NAC, nine hectares of land has been identified as open space.
While land has been allocated to deliver much-needed facilities, there is one facility in particular that may not go ahead.
Among the items listed in the plan is land for a school, however director of Environmental Planning and Building Services, Neil Southorn, stated that the Department of Education has no plans for a new school.
"Council is committed to reserving a site for a future school, although the Department of Education has advised that further school sites are not required," he said.
"A three-hectare site has been identified and reserved adjacent to the NAC.
"The consultants have suggested the co-location of a school, recreation areas and the NAC as being the best use of the site and reflect the current practices of master planned communities."
For the development of Laffings Waters to go ahead as planned, council will need to amend both the Local Environmental and Development Control plans.