One of the most challenging areas of work for council in coming years will be balancing requests for development approval against the sentiment of preserving a village atmosphere throughout the Shire.
Council staff have spent countless hours assessing and analysing development applications submitted for apartment blocks in Crescent Head and South West Rocks.
This often involves many meetings with developers and architects to consider developments against the planning regulations and to give advice on how Development Control Plans and Local Environmental Plans are applied.
And council staff often answer questions from community members making submissions regarding developments on public exhibition and then assess them against the planning regulations.
Depending on the complexities, cost and variations to legislation for developments, the application is determined under staff delegation by the council or in some cases by the Regional Planning Panel.
Residents immediately adjacent to proposed developments may not understand the complexities of planning regulation and what matters come into consideration to determine applications for new developments. Council encourages residents to review the planning guides, the area master plans and the environmental guidelines.
Manager of development and compliance Graham Snow said council has introduced a duty planner service to help increase the level of information available and to help explain the complexities.
"I'd encourage interested residents to take the time to read these reports," Mr Snow said.
"Council is working to increase our level of community engagement and work with people living in our towns and villages to understand what they love about their areas and how they see the future. These conversations help guide council's planning documents and therefore influence decisions on planning and change."