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NSW Department of Planning and Environment
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The Strategic Planning Toolkit is a hub for resources to support local councils and planning professionals in LEP making. 


The aim of the toolkit is to provide guidance on LEP making and to assist in the implementation of the goals and directions contained within the Regional Plans and the five District Plans.


The Strategic Planning Toolkit will provide an up-to-date resource for local councils and planning professionals to employ best practice planning across NSW.

Strategic Planning Framework

Strategic Plans

State Plans

Regional plans are State-led strategic planning documents which set the direction and establish objectives for delivering the vision for a liveable productive, and sustainable planning framework in NSW.

Five district plans implement the vision and objectives of the Greater Sydney Region Plan at a district level. 

These 20-year plans provide a bridge between regional and local planning to inform LEPs, local strategic planning statements (LSPS), community strategic plans and the assessment of planning proposals.

Precincts provide a placed based strategic planning approach to growth in Sydney and set specific actions and objectives for specific areas, based on the vison outlined in the region or district plan. 

These precincts provide a coordinated approach by State and local government which helps ensure infrastructure such as schools, parks, community facilities, public transport and road upgrades are delivered commensurate with housing and jobs to support community needs. 

There are a number of other strategic planning documents including the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 and special activation precincts in regional NSW. These documents set out strategies and actions for a particular LGA or precinct to create jobs, attract businesses and investors, support local industries and fuel economic development. 

Local Plans

An LSPS sets out the strategic planning ambitions for a LGA as a whole and for specific areas. The LSPS allows councils to translate their strategic planning into local priorities and actions and identifies the need for further local strategic planning work.

The LSPS Guideline for Councils provides information for councils, the community, and other stakeholders on the contents of a LSPS, how it is made and how it is implemented.

Local housing strategies are detailed strategic and implementation plans that show where and how new homes are best to be developed in each local government area.

The Local Housing Strategy Guideline provides a step-by-step process for producing local housing strategies

Local council strategies that are endorsed, in full or part, by the Department (Secretary) may be used:

  • to demonstrate the strategic merit of planning proposals; and/or
  • by Planning Panels or the Independent Planning Commission to determine whether a planning proposal being considered for a rezoning review has strategic merit; and/or
  • by the planning proposal authority to justify inconsistency with certain section 9.1(2) Local Planning Directions

Endorsed local council strategies are listed below for each of the Department’s regions, and endorsement letters are attached. Only the version of the Strategy at the time of endorsement is considered endorsed and no subsequent amendments.


Sydney Metropolitan

Northern Beaches Warriewood Valley Strategic Review 2013 1 May 2013
Canada Bay Canada Bay Local Planning Strategy 2010-2031 27 November 2009
Willoughby Chatswood CBD Planning and Urban Design Strategy 9 August 2019
Willoughby Chatswood CBD Planning and Urban Design Strategy 9 July 2020


Northern Region

Armidale Regional

Armidale Dumaresq Bulky Goods Retail and Industrial Lands Study 2010

Armidale Dumaresq Industrial Lands Study 2012 18/04/2013
New England Strategic Alliance of Councils Development Strategy 2010 16/03/2010
Ballina Ballina Growth Management Strategy 07/05/2013

Bellingen Shire Growth Management Strategy


Bellingen Shire Employment Land Strategy 10/07/2013

Byron Shire Business and Industrial Lands Strategy
Byron Shire Rural Land Use Strategy 2017 13/06/2018
Clarence Valley

Clarence Valley Settlement Strategy



Clarence Local Growth Management Strategy (Maclean Urban Catchment Component)


Coffs Harbour
Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy Chapter 8 Employment Lands(PDF, 128 KB) 04/11/2020
Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy Chapter 5 Rural Lands 03/07/2020
Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy – Coffs Harbour to 2040 andbeyond: Chapters 1-4 and Chapter 6

Our Living City - A Settlement Strategy to 2031


Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy – Business Lands Component Aug 2009 24/09/2010
Coffs Harbour Rural Residential Strategy 03/05/2010
Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy Industrial Lands Component 11/11/2009
Glen Innes Severn Glen Innes Severn Land Use Plan 2010 17/06/2010

Gunnedah Shire Local Environmental Study (Bridging Report) 2010 (incorporating the Gunnedah Shire Rural Lands Strategy 2009, and the Gunnedah Shire Commercial and Industrial Lands Study 2009)


Namoi 2030 Regional Resource Strategy 31/03/2011

Inverell Rural Lands Strategy


Inverell Strategic Land Use Plan 2011-2031 28/03/2012

Kempsey Local Growth Strategy (Residential Component)


Kempsey Local Growth Strategy (Rural Residential Component) 17/12/2014
Kyogle Kyogle Local Growth Management Strategy 22/06/2010
Lismore Lismore Growth Management Strategy 2015-2035 11/08/2015
Liverpool Plains

Liverpool Plains Growth Management Strategy 2009


Namoi 2030 Regional Resource Strategy 31/03/2011
Moree Plains Moree Plains Growth Management Strategy 2009 20/04/2009

Nambucca Shire Local Growth Management Strategy (Employment Lands)


Nambucca Shire Council Urban Land Release Strategy 13/01/1998
Nambucca Shire Urban Release Strategy - Annexure 1 Eungai Creek 14/04/2003
Nambucca Local Growth Management Strategy(Rural Residential Land) 16/01/2009

Narrabri Growth Management Strategy 2010


Narrabri Growth Management Strategy Addendum –Boggabri Strategic Planning Review 2014 19/05/2015
Namoi 2030 Regional Resource Strategy 16/01/2009

Port Macquarie Hastings

Port Macquarie Hastings Urban Growth Management Strategy


John Oxley Drive Precinct Structure Plan 01/11/2012
Port Macquarie Hastings Urban Growth Management Strategy 2036 02/11/2018
Richmond Valley

Casino Urban Land Release Strategy


Evans Head Urban Land Release Strategy 21/12/2006
Richmond River Rural Residential Land Release Strategy 04/03/1999
Tamworth Regional

Tamworth Regional Development Strategy 2008


South Tamworth Rural Lands Masterplan 16/04/2013
Namoi 2030 Regional Resource Strategy 31/03/2011

Tweed Rural Land Strategy

Tweed Rural Villages Strategy



Uralla New England Strategic Alliance of Councils Development Strategy 2010 16/03/2010
Walcha New England Strategic Alliance of Councils Development Strategy 2010 16/03/2010


Western Region

Balranald Balranald Strategic Framework 05/05/2010
Bathurst Regional

Bathurst Region Urban Strategy 2008


Bathurst Region Rural Strategy 14/05/2013
Blayney Blayney Settlement Strategy 10/11/2012
Blayney, Cabonne & Orange Blayney, Cabonne and Orange – Sub Regional Rural, Rural Residential and Industrial Land Use Strategy 30/06/2011
Bogan Western Council’s Comprehensive Land Use Strategy 26/02/2010
Bourke Bourke Shire Strategy Nov 2012 19/12/2012
Broken Hill Broken Hill Land Use Strategy dated Sept 2012– Part A- Local Profile & Issues Paper
Part B – land use Strategy
Cabonne Cabonne Settlement Strategy 15/10/2012
Central Darling Central Darling Strategy Nov 2012 20/12/2012
Conargo Conargo Rural Lands Strategy 19/06/2013
Corowa Corowa 2011-2031 Strategic Land Use Plan & Site Assessment Report dated July 2011 25/06/2012
Cowra Cowra Shire Land Use Strategy Feb 2011 10/01/2013

Dubbo Land Use Strategies– including Urban Development Strategy, Dubbo Rural Areas Development Strategy associated reviews, amending reports and Council Policies

Forbes Forbes Growth Management Strategy and Rural Lands Supplement- February 2009 21/04/2009
Gilgandra Western Council’s Sub Regional Land Use Strategy 26/02/2010
Griffith Griffith Land Use Strategy 17/04/2013
Hay Community and Settlement Sustainability Strategy March 2012 24/04/2012

Lachlan Primary Production/Resource Strategy March 2009


Lachlan Minimum Lot Sizes for Rural Dwellings Study 03/07/2013
Lithgow Lithgow Land Use Strategy 2010-2030 24/05/2012

Mid-Western Comprehensive Land Use Strategy


Mudgee-Gulgong Urban Release Strategy 23/01/2015

Western Council’s Sub Regional Land Use Strategy

Rural Residential and Agricultural Lands Strategy 08/08/2013
Oberon Oberon Land Use Strategy – Draft June 2011 and Amendment 2012 16/12/2013

Orange Sustainable Settlement Strategy

Blayney, Cabonne and Orange – Sub Regional Rural, Rural Residential and Industrial Land Use Strategy 30/06/2011
Parkes Parkes Shire Land Use Strategy 2011 21/08/2012
Wakool Wakool Shire Land Use Strategy and Supplementary Information 24/03/2011
Walgett Walgett Shire Council Growth Management Study and Strategy 18/05/2011
Warren Western Council’s Sub Regional Land Use Strategy 26/02/2010
Warrumbungle Warrumbungle Shire Council Land Use Strategy 04/07/2013
Wentworth Wentworth Strategic Framework Document & LES 23/12/2011
Western Councils - Bogan, Coonamble,Gilgandra, Narromine and Warren Western Council’s Sub Regional Land Use Strategy
NB: Coonamble component not endorsed as Council has not adopted it.


Southern Region

Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council

Queanbeyan Residential and Economic Strategy 2015-2031


Bungendore Structure Plan 30/11/2010
Wagga Wagga City Council Wagga Wagga Spatial Plan 2013-2043 27/02/2014
Albury City Council

Albury Thurgoona Wirlinga Precinct Structure Plan 2013


Rural Lands Strategy for Table Top and Splitters Creek 17/08/2016
Yass Valley Council Yass Town and Village Study 28/06/2011
Junee Shire Council Junee Residential Strategy 2006 11/01/2008
Shoalhaven City Council Shoalhaven Growth Management Strategy 2014 20/05/2014
Wollongong City Council

Farmborough Heights to Mt Kembla Concept Plan


Illawarra Escarpment Strategic Management Plan 2015 01/12/2015


Hunter and Central Coast Region

Upper Hunter Upper Hunter Land Use Strategy 21/01/2010
Muswellbrook Muswellbrook Residential and Rural Residential Strategy 2014 08/05/2015
Wyong Wyong Settlement Strategy 2013 17/09/2013
Maitland Maitland Urban Settlement Strategy 2008 01/09/2009
Singleton Singleton Land Use Strategy 08/06/2008

Policy Directions

State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) are instruments that address planning issues on a state-wide level. This is different to a LEP that addresses planning controls for a local government area.

Planning proposals must provide an assessment against the relevant SEPPs and advise on how a proposal may satisfy the requirements of a SEPP. 

The current list of SEPPs is located here: 


The directions cover the following broad categories:

  • Planning Systems
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Resilience and Hazards
  • Transport and Infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Industry and Employment
  • Resources and Energy
  • Primary Production

Current and previously issued s9.1 Directions

The following documents provide advice on Ministerial Directions issued under section 9.1 of the EP&A Act.

Directions for planning proposals

Directions for local infrastructure contributions

Directions for planning agreements

Requires all councils to consider a series of matters when negotiating a planning agreement with a developer for the purposes of affordable housing in connection with a development.

Resources for section 9.1 Integrating Land Use and Transport

Relevant planning system circulars



Useful Resources

All planning proposals and draft LEPs must comply with State law regarding reportable political donations. For more details, including a disclosure form, refer to:

Planning system circulars provide non-statutory advice on NSW Government principles, procedures and practices to assist in implementing relevant planning laws and policies.


Planning practice notes provide updated commentary, guidance, and advice for planning matters generally relating to principle local environmental plans and the Standard Instrument. A practice note is for information purposes only and does not comprise legal advice.

Contributions Practice Notes

Planning Agreements Practice Note

To coincide with the commencement of the NSW Planning Portal and NSW Planning Database on 30 November 2015, the department has developed revised standard technical requirements for spatial datasets and maps contained within planning instrument and other plans.


The standard technical requirements take effect on 30 November 2015 and cover Local Environmental Plans, State Environmental Planning Policies, Development Control Plans and Contributions Plans.


The revised requirements update and consolidate previous requirements and guidance prepared by the department. Previous requirements can be sourced by contacting


Councils need to prepare spatial data and maps as per the specified standards and submit to the department at draft and final stages via the online submission system for planning data available on the NSW Planning Portal.


The Department’s continuous quality assurance program involves working with councils to ensure that the planning data submitted as part of the plan-making process meets the adopted standard.


Read the document Standard Technical Requirements for spatial datasets and maps.


For more information read the Planning Circular PS15-005 - Commencement of the NSW Planning Portal.


Access to the NSW Planning Portal is here and the Online Submission System for Planning Data is here.

The Parliamentary Counsel's Office (PCO) has issued advice regarding the drafting and notification processes for making delegated plans, which can be found at PCO – Information. PCO also has resources to assist in the drafting process, which can be found at PCO – Resources.

Additional provisions (commonly referred to as ‘local provisions’ or ’model local clauses’) are local clauses that have been settled by the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office which address common topics raised by councils in their standard instrument LEP preparation. The use of such settled clauses will reduce the time required to amend a standard instrument LEP.

Where councils would like to use one or more of the examples provided but wish to make some minor alterations to suit their specific circumstances, these may be considered with the appropriate justification, although it is recommended that they be adopted 'as is' wherever possible.

For further information please contact your relevant Place or Regional team.

The Land Use Matrix (XLSX, 110KB) is an Excel spreadsheet that identifies standard land use terms, standard zones and permissibility. It has been prepared by the Department to assist councils with the preparation of local environmental plans consistent with the Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Order 2006. The Matrix also includes permissible land uses under a number of state environmental planning policies.

Councils can complete the Matrix of intended permitted and prohibited land uses to assist in discussions with the Department about their draft plan. Instructions on how to complete the Matrix are provided under the ‘Instructions’ tab of the Excel spreadsheet.

Important note: This information does not constitute legal advice. Users are advised to seek professional advice and refer to the relevant legislation, as necessary.

Disclaimer: While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that this document is correct at the time of publication, the State of New South Wales, its agencies and employees, disclaim any and all liability to any person in respect of anything or the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done in reliance upon the whole or any part of this document.

The Department provides regular and insightful information on demographics, forecasting and population change here:

Page last updated: 04/05/2022