NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Statutory rules

Mandatory Local Planning Panels (LPPs) are in place for all councils in Sydney, Wollongong City, the Central Coast and Wingecarribee Shire.

The referral criteria and procedural requirements for LPPs have been set by the Minister.

The department developed the referral criteria with two key objectives in mind:

  • ensuring LPPs focus on contentious and complex development applications and applications with the greatest corruption risk, while council staff continue to determine routine applications
  • building flexibility into the criteria to reflect differences in the types of development and community expectations across local government areas.

The referral criteria and procedural requirements for both development applications and planning proposals are available to view below.

The department will monitor the operation of these criteria, we also encourage councils to report back their experiences to ensure that LPPs operate as intended and do not result in unnecessary delays in the assessment process. The department will use this feedback to consider if further changes to the criteria are required.

The Minister has made directions requiring local councils to follow a standard naming convention for their LPPs. This was to avoid any confusion in the community about the purpose of the panel. These directions are available below.

Referral criteria

The Minister has the power to direct which development applications are determined by Panels and which planning proposals are to be referred to it for advice.

The government recognises that not all councils have the same levels of population or demand for development. As such, the referral criteria for development applications is applied with different thresholds for different councils.

  • Group A (Schedule 1) – most councils.
  • Group B (Schedule 2) – councils that determined more than 1800 DAs and have a population over 200,000.
  • Group C (Schedule 3) – City of Sydney.

Relevant documents

All other development applications are determined by council staff or the Sydney or regional planning panel. The value trigger for development sent to the Sydney or regional planning panels increases from $20 million to $30 million on 1 March 2018. This means more development will be determined at the local level.

Code of conduct

The behaviour and standards of panel members are governed by a code of conduct. The code of conduct is a key tool in minimising corruption risk in the determination of development applications.

View the Code of Conduct for Local Planning Panel Members August 2020 (PDF, 241 KB).

The Minister has issued a direction in relation to the requirement for members to agree to abide by the Code of Conduct on appointment. View the Local Planning Panels Direction Appointment of new members (PDF, 583 KB).

Appointment of new members

The Minister has issued a direction to require members to agree to abide by the Code of Conduct on appointment. The direction also requires certain checks to be undertaken before members are appointed to a panel and sets out minimum numbers of members and alternates for panels.

Operational procedures

The operational procedures help to ensure that panels meet their obligations in the most efficient and effective manner.


The Minister has set the remuneration for panel members. View the document below to see the remuneration.

View the Remuneration Determination — Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (PDF, 58.8 KB) for members of local planning panels.


The Minister has issued the following direction in relation to a naming convention.

View the Local Planning Panels Direction – Naming Local Planning Panels (PDF, 57.6 KB).

More information

For more information please contact the Planning Panels Secretariat on 02 8217 2060.

Page last updated: 23/01/2023