Help Needed – Council are amending zoning, but they forgot us!

January 14, 2020

Help Needed – Council are amending zoning, but they forgot us!

Beer and non-beer drinking friends alike, we need your help.

Cessnock council are presently taking submissions from residents on the 2036 Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS). This is our chance to fix the mess that recent zoning changes have done to prohibit artisan food and drink businesses from operating in Bucketty and surrounds. As it stands, no artisan food or drink business (excluding wineries) is permitted to operate in the Cessnock council area, outside the industrial zone and there is nothing contained in the updated LSPS that addresses this travesty.

This could be our one and only chance.

If you’d like to find out more please visit the council website here:

As I’ve mentioned before, the RU2 zoning (which encompasses most of Bucketty, Laguna and Wollombi) allows:

  • Pubs
  • Wineries & cellar doors
  • RSL clubs
  • Function centres

But it does not allow breweries, distilleries or any other business that could be classified as an “artisan industry”.

How is that fair? It’s bloody not! And if you’re reading this post you either agree, or vehemently deny the right of the people to make delicious beer for the enjoyment of the community in anything other than a concrete box within a soulless industrial area.

How can you help?

Send a submission to council by following these instructions.

In your email you’ll need to articulate how important it is to encourage artisan industries into our beautiful area and how it creates jobs and tourism for the betterment of the local economy. I’ve copied the contents of my submission below to give you an idea.

Thank you in advance for any support you can offer.

The time frame for submissions closes on 5th Feb 2020.

Many of you will be pleased to know that Lexi and I haven’t given up on the brewery dream and are presently working on a Plan – C. We’re hopeful that Bucketty’s Brewery will take flight in 2020, albeit in a different form to the original vision.

More details to come, stay tuned!

My submission to Cessnock Council:

To the General Manager of Cessnock City Council

Re: 59/2015/1/2 – Draft Cessnock Local Strategic Planning Statement 2036

I would like to make a submission in relation to the above draft local strategic planning statement 2036.

As a resident of Bucketty, I’d like to see artisan food and drink industries permitted within the RU2 zoning. Adding additional boutique & artisan industries to the existing LEP will compliment the existing world class winery and tourist industries in the area.

Adding artisan food & drink addresses the themes and priorities of the area as follows:

Livable – The artisan food & drink industry is comprised of generally low impact businesses that provide amenity to local residents and tourists. In my area of Bucketty, there isn’t a single shop or business for 20mins drive in either direction, the area is perfect for small artisan businesses to create this amenity and service the community.

Productive – The artisan food & drink industry provides significant employment as well as leaning towards locally sourced ingredients for their production. The wineries of Pokolbin are a perfect example of how an artisan industry can create employment and generate economic growth for an area.

Sustainable – Artisan food and drink industries generally incorporate locally grown ingredients thereby reducing food miles. The industry also encourages tourists to experience the local area which builds awareness for the beauty and vulnerability of flora and fauna surrounding properties in the RU2 zoning (often bushland).

Unique – Artisan food and drink businesses thrive on experimentation and innovation. The best way to encourage customers to travel to an artisan business that’s a bit out-of-the way is to offer something unique.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss my submission please contact me on 0414 803 714 or


Nick McDonald

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