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What is the Gateway process?

Local Environment Plans (LEPs) start with a planning proposal for a development. In most cases this is done by your local council. Proposals are then assessed by us. This is called the ‘Gateway’ process.

The five steps in the process are:


  1. The planning proposal - the relevant authority prepares the planning proposal.  The relevant authority is usually the local council, however the Minister can appoint the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment, a joint regional planning panel or a Sydney planning panel to be the relevant planning authority. 

  2. Gateway - the Minister (or delegate) decides whether the planning proposal can proceed (with or without variation) and subject to other matters including further studies being undertaken, public consultation, public hearings, agency consultation and time frames. A planning proposal does usually not proceed without conditions of this nature. The conditions are then complied with and if necessary, the proposal is changed. A decision on whether the relevant council is able to finalise particular types of LEPs is also determined at this stage.

  3. Community consultation - the proposal is publicly exhibited as required by the Minister. A person making a submission may also request a public hearing be held. 

  4. Assessment - the relevant planning authority reviews public submissions. Parliamentary Counsel then prepares a draft local environmental plan.

  5. The making of the LEP - with the Minister’s (or delegate’s) approval the local environmental plan is published on the NSW legislation website and becomes law.

View resources for plan making and tracking here.

New Rezoning Review: 

We have improved the Pre-Gateway Review process that will be clearer and easier to understand.

An applicant such as a developer or landowner may ask for a Rezoning Review if:

  • a council has notified them that it does not support their plans; 
  • a council has failed to indicate its support 90 days after the proponent has submitted a request; or 
  • a council has failed to submit a planning proposal for a Gateway determination within a reasonable time it has indicated its support.

A Rezoning Review will be carried out independently by:

  • a Joint Regional Planning Panel for regional NSW:
    • Northern Region;
    • Hunter and Central Coast Region;
    • Western Region; 
    • Southern Region

  • the Sydney planning panels for proposals that relate to land within the Greater Sydney Region; or
  • the Planning Assessment Commission for proposals that relate to land within the City of Sydney.

The new Rezoning Review Process

rezoning review process: 4 steps. Step 1:  •	Proponent may request a review by writing to the department •	Department notifies council and requests comments and additional information and confirmation that proposal is consistent with original submission •	Planning Panel/the Commission Secretariat forwards request to relevant regional panel/the Commission •	Planning Panel/the Commission Secretariat uploads application to public tracking system Step 2: •	Planning Panel/the Commission assesses strategic merit against strengthened Strategic Merit Test •	For proposals with strategic merit Planning Panel/the Commission undertakes Site Specific Merit Test •	Planning Panel/the Commission meets with council, proponent and department as required o	Proponent and council notified proposal is not proceeding due to lack of merit Step 3: •	Planning Panel/the Commission determines that the proposal has merit and should be submitted to Gateway  Step 4 •	Planning Panel/the Commission notifies council and asks if it will accept role of relevant planning authority o	If council does not accept the role of RPA, alternate RPA appointed •	Planning Proposal submitted to Department for Gateway determination



Rezoning Review fees

Submission of Rezoning Review request - $20,000 (assessment and referral to Panel/Commission).

Where a Planning Panel or the Secretary is appointed as the relevant planning authority - $25,000  


The Minister and Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission have signed delegations so that a Planning Panel has the power to direct itself to be the relevant planning authority if it has carried out a rezoning review of the planning proposal request and the council does not wish to take on that role.


In the interests of fairness and accountability, two review mechanisms were introduced in October 2012 for the gateway process. These reviews provide fairness and accountability to the process by allowing an independent body to review some decisions by councils and the department.


Rezoning reviews: may be requested by a proponent if a council has not supported, or made a decision within 90 days, on a planning proposal, or has not submitted a planning proposal for a Gateway determination within a reasonable time after indicating its support.  These reviews are carried out by Planning Panels or the Planning Assessment Commission for the City of Sydney. 


Gateway reviews: may be requested by a council or proponent following a gateway determination by the Department before community consultation on the proposal has commenced.

View the Pre-Gateway LEP Review Tracking System

This system enables you to view proposed LEP amendments that have been lodged with the agency for a Pre-Gateway review.

Pre-Gateway LEP Review Tracking System

In some instances the Joint Regional Planning Panels or Sydney planning panels may be appointed as the relevant planning authority to finalise a planning proposal.

Visit the LEP Tracking System

LEP Tracking System

You can track the progress of a plan or review through our online tracking systems.  


In some instances the Planning Panels may be appointed as the relevant planning authority to finalise a planning proposal.

Page last updated: 19/07/2017