NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Land suitability



  • New land release areas are to be located adjacent to existing urban settlements to maximise the efficient use of existing infrastructure and services, including water, sewer, road and waste services.
  • Where new development is proposed away from existing settlements, the provision of essential infrastructure must have no cost to government.
  • The location, structure and layout of rural residential release areas should promote clustering to encourage a sense of community and facilitate the long-term expansion of existing centres and residential areas.


Direct new land release areas to unconstrained land by avoiding areas of high environmental value, cultural, and heritage significance and/or areas affected by natural hazards such as flooding or bushfire.


New land release areas should avoid and manage the potential for land use conflicts with existing and likely future adjoining uses and infrastructure, including important agricultural land, and productive resource lands.

Development structure and form



Require new land release areas to provide links to adjoining areas to ensure new areas are well integrated and maximise efficiency and shared use of services and facilities.


Recognise, protect and be compatible with any unique topographic, natural or built cultural features essential to the visual setting, character, identity, or heritage significance of the area.


Support and maintain strong multi-functional central business precincts and support the viability of centres.


Provide housing diversity targets to support a variety of dwelling types and a choice in location, form and affordability.


Design and locate land uses to minimise the need to travel; to maximise opportunity for efficient public transport and pedestrian access options; and to encourage energy and resource efficiency.


Design and locate development to maximise total water cycle management and promote passive environmental design principles. Water sensitive urban design techniques should be incorporated into the design of dwellings, streets, parking areas, subdivisions and multi-unit, commercial and industrial developments.


Create walkable communities within the hierarchy of settlement.


Provide for local services that meet the day to day needs of residents and areas for open space and recreation.

Page last updated: 28/07/2022