Planning & Development

The County of Newell's Planning and Development Department manages land and development related matters including Development Permits, Construction Permits, Subdivisions, Land Use Amendments, and Road Closures. The department is also responsible for planning the future growth and use of land in the County through the management of the local statutory framework. We are committed to responsible planning and sustainable development to ensure the continued growth of the region. Learn more by visiting the County of Newell Public Web Map.

Land use planning in Alberta is subject to plans at both the provincial and municipal levels of government. In addition, with the implementation of the provincial Land-Use Framework and the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, a regional vision is put in place with the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP). At the local level, growth and development are guided by the Municipal Development Plan (MDP), among other plans that make up the statutory framework. While day-to-day development decisions are regulated by the Land Use Bylaw (LUB).

In the pipeline of projects for the department are the adoption of new or updated Area Structure Plans for each Growth Hamlet (Lake Newell Resort, Rolling Hills, Scandia, Tilley). The adoption of a Transportation Master Plan is another project that the department aims to undertake.

The hierarchy of plans that affect development in the County are outlined below.

Municipal Government Act (MGA)
(Subdivision and Development Regulation)

Alberta Land Stewardship Act


Provincial Legislation and Regulations guide local governance and development.

The Municipal Government Act (MGA) outlines the requirements for Statutory Plans and the Land Use Bylaw for every municipality in the province. Part 17 of the MGA acts as the over-arching framework for planning and development in the Province of Alberta.

 There are some developments, such as Oil and Gas, Confined Feeding Operations and Renewable Energy that are governed by quasi-judicial regulators that grant approvals outside the scope of municipal responsibility. Section 619(1) of the MGA states that a licence, permit, approval or other authorization granted by the NRCB, ERCB, AER, AEUB or AUC prevails over any statutory plan, land use bylaw, subdivision and development appeal board, or the Land and Property Rights Tribunal or any other authorization under Part 17. 

The Alberta Land Stewardship Act establishes the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, conceived to better manage the region’s land and natural resources for long-term economic, environmental and social betterment.  

Rural/Urban Intermunicipal Development Plans (IDP)

Adopted 2009
Consolidated 2013
Adopted March 2015Adopted February 2014Adopted October 2019
Rural/Rural Intermunicipal Development Plans (IDP)
Wheatland County
Special Areas Board
Cypress County
MD of Taber
Vulcan County
Adopted May 2015Adopted March 2020Adopted February 2020Adopted February 2018Adopted May 2015
Amended November 2018

Amended October 2018


An Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) is a statutory plan developed between neighbouring municipalities that outlines mutually agreed upon objectives and policies for cooperation, coordination and development within a determined plan area.

Applications to amend existing IDPs are submitted using the Statutory Plan Approval/Amendment Application Form, along with the required fee as per the Schedule of Fees bylaw.


Municipal Development Plan (MDP)
Municipal Development Plan
Adopted 2023


The Municipal Development Plan (MDP) is the vision for how the County of Newell will grow and develop in the future. The MDP is a statutory plan that is adopted by bylaw. It provides the framework for the more detailed and specific plans, policies and programs that work to facilitate the goals of the MDP.

Applications to amend the MDP are submitted using the Statutory Plan Approval/Amendment Application Form, along with the required fee as per the Schedule of Fees bylaw.


Area Structure Plans (ASPs)
Cassils Road ASP
Timko Industrial ASP
Deer Run Estates ASP
Jackson Light Industrial ASP
Lake Newell Reservoir Resort ASP
Adopted June 1991
Amended June 2000
January 2001
August 2005
August 2005
August 2003

Area Structure Plans (ASP) are long range statutory plans, prepared by applicants and adopted by County Council, that provide direction for future land use patterns, transportation networks and infrastructure for new development.

Area Redevelopment Plans (ARP) are long range statutory plans that coordinates the improvement of land, buildings, or supporting infrastructure in an area that is already developed.

Applications to adopt new ASPs/ARPs or amend existing ASPs/ARPs can be submitted using the Statutory Plan Approval/Amendment Application Form, along with the required fee as per the Schedule of Fees bylaw.


Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP)
North Headgates ARP
Adopted April 2019
An Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) is a long range statutory plan that coordinates the improvement of land, buildings, or supporting infrastructure  in an area that is currently developed.
Land Use Bylaw (LUB)
Land Use Bylaw
Adopted 2021

The Land Use Bylaw (LUB) regulates local land use and development – organizing the County into Land Use Districts, and outlining the permitted and discretionary uses within each District.

The LUB directs day-to-day development decisions and is not considered a statutory plan.



Plan of Subdivision

Development AgreementDevelopment Permit

Building Permit

The final steps before construction are often referred to as the Pre-Development Stage.

Subdivision entails the creation of one or more new parcels of land divided from a larger parcel, each to be given a separate title. Subdivision can also entail the adjustment of existing parcel lot lines, also known as boundary line adjustments.

Land Use Amendments are required when a landowner would like to bring forward a development not allowed under the current land use designation of their parcel(s).