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Simplifying and improving the Planning Policy Framework

A review program for State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) to deliver a modern planning system is underway. The review is underpinned by the Government’s commitment to simplify the NSW planning system and reduce complexity without reducing the rigour necessary in considering matters of State and regional significance.


This review process will modernise, simplify and improve the effectiveness and usability of policies.


The SEPP review program is examining the existing policies to consider:

  • whether they are still relevant; and
  • the need to update and integrate into a new SEPP or elsewhere in the planning framework.


The review intends to remove policy and controls that are duplicated in strategies, regional plans and local environmental plans.


Delivery of policies through the Standard Instrument local environmental plans is a priority, where possible and appropriate. The role and importance of SEPPs to deal with matters of State or regional environmental planning significance will not be diminished.


The review will be rolled out in several phases. Stage 1 is now complete with amendments commencing on 5 August 2016.

Details of the specific amendments to the planning instruments include:


The NSW Government has finalised the review of 16 State Environmental Planning Policies.


The review identified provisions that are:

  • no longer needed;
  • already delivered by other planning instruments or parts of the planning system; or
  • more effectively delivered in other parts of the planning system to ensure the protections these policies provide are maintained.


Circular PS 16-002 advises councils and practitioners of changes introduced by Stage 1 of the SEPP review.


The following SEPPs were repealed in Stage 1: 

  • Hunter Regional Environmental Plan 1989 (Heritage)
  • Illawarra Regional Environmental Plan No 1
  • Illawarra Regional Environmental Plan No 2 – Jamberoo Valley
  • Jervis Bay Regional Environmental Plan 1996
  • Lower South Coast Regional Environmental Plan (No 2)
  • North Coast Regional Environmental Plan
  • Orana Regional Environmental Plan No 1 – Siding Spring
  • Riverina Regional Environmental Plan No 1
  • State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP 53 Transitional Provisions) 2011
  • State Environmental Planning Policy No 15 – Rural Landsharing Communities
  • State Environmental Planning Policy No 29 – Western Sydney Recreation Area
  • State Environmental Planning Policy No 32 – Urban Consolidation (Redevelopment of Urban Land)
  • State Environmental Planning Policy No 39 – Spit Island Bird Habitat
  • State Environmental Planning Policy No 59 – Central Western Sydney Regional Open Space and Residential
  • Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No 18 – Public Transport Corridors
  • Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No 19 – Rouse Hill Development Area

Stage 2 of the review of State Environmental Planning Policies


Stage 2 of the review is now underway. A range of SEPPs are progressively being reviewed in Stage 2 of the SEPP Review Program. So far the Department has sought public comment on proposed amendments comprising:

The Department is considering feedback on these proposals, and is continuing to progress its review of other SEPPs. The Department will continue to seek public comments on further proposed amendments to other SEPPs coming from the review, to be made available for public consultation. Details of these proposals will be added to this webpage as they are released for exhibition.


For further information please see email or phone 1300 305 695.

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