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The Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) is an agency of the Ministry of Natural Resources dedicated to preserving the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario.  The NEC maintains the Niagara Escarpment Plan which outlines land use, development rules and permitted uses on lands under the protection of the NEC.

The open stone face of the Niagara Escarpment above a forested area.

Niagara Escarpment Plan Review

Ontario is reviewing four Provincial Plans, including the Niagara Escarpment Plan. As part of this review, the NEC has proposed changes that include expanding the area of the NEC, changing land use designations, altering recreation areas and making changes to forest management policies.

Proposed Additions

  • 45,677 hectares of new land are being proposed in the plan for a total of 84,114 acres of land.
  • 32,559 hectares of the new land is within Grey County.
  • Two-thirds of this land is located in the Municipality of Meaford (21,323 hectares). There are also significant portions in Georgian Bluffs (4,279 hectares), Town of the Blue Mountains (4,464 hectares) and Grey Highlands (2,358 hectares).

Grey County Opposes Proposal

Grey County does not support the proposed changes the Niagara Escarpment Plan. The expansion of the NEC takes decision making control away from local municipalities that are already required to have Official Plans in places to regulate land uses and preserve natural heritage.

The proposed changes can have a significant impact on affected property owners by influencing their property assessment and changing the way they can or cannot develop their land.

Public Commenting Period

A public commenting period runs until October 31, 2016. Grey County has submitted comments to the NEC, which can be found in a staff report

For the convenience of residents, Grey County has added the proposed plan changes to our mapping system at