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NSW Department of Planning and Environment
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Precincts – a new approach

A new approach to precinct planning has been developed to provide certainty and a way forward for precincts. This is part of our work to centre the planning system around people, places, public spaces and the environment, putting greater responsibility for planning in the hands of councils and local communities.

State Significant Precincts are areas with state or regional planning significance because of their social, economic or environmental characteristics.

They are typically large sites owned by the state government that are of state or regional importance for:

  • achieving government policy objectives, particularly those relating to increasing delivery of housing and jobs
  • environmental or natural resource conservation
  • heritage or historical significance.

The urban renewal process for State Significant Precincts (SSP) involves comprehensive assessment to determine the development potential of these areas, carefully considering environmental and social factors, and identifying the infrastructure needs of the future population.

Plans are typically prepared by the relevant government agency and assessed by the Department, working closely with the community and local council.

These plans respond to NSW government strategies for providing well designed buildings and public spaces, healthy environments with open space networks, trees, and links to public transport and road networks as well as jobs and housing. Consultation with the community and government agencies is a critical part of the SSP process.

State Significant Precinct State Environmental Planning Policy

Amendments to the zones and planning controls for State Significant Precincts (SSP) can be made through a State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP). This can be approved by the Minister for Planning for any matter that the Minister considers to be of state or regional planning significance (section 3.29 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979).

In most cases, the SEPP will amend the relevant local environmental plan(s). These amendments will be supported by more detailed planning controls set out in a development control plan.

The State Environmental Planning Policy (State Significant Precincts) 2005 is at the Legislation NSW website.

State Significant Precincts Guideline

The State Significant Precincts Guideline 2016 (PDF, 1.45 MB) sets out the process for the rezoning of State Significant Precincts.

The SSP process applies to a limited number of special precincts where the Government has an on-going role. Where Government agencies identify and recommend a precinct, the Department determines their significance to State or regional planning objectives and make a recommendation to the Minister against the criteria.

Criteria for a State Significant Precinct

A State Significant Precinct must:

  • be a large area of land within a single ownership or control, typically Government owned
  • be of State or regional importance in achieving Government policy objectives, particularly those relating to increasing delivery of housing and jobs
  • be of State or regional importance for environmental or natural resource conservation
  • be of State or regional importance for heritage or historical significance.

Learn more about SSP Process and how to investigate potential State Significant Precincts.

About SSP Process


Parramatta North will be revitalised by restoring and protecting existing heritage buildings and infrastructure. The area will become a vibrant place to live with new homes, shops, restaurants, cafes and parks.

Central Station Precinct SSP flip tile 430x278

Central Sydney is set to become an epicentre for innovation and technology. Establishing Sydney as a global leader in collaboration and jobs for the future.


The review of the Sydney Olympic Park Master Plan 2030 identifies opportunities to transform the precinct into a thriving urban centre with a new school, five additional or enhanced parks, employment opportunities, residential communities and retail.

Aerial view of Bays West facing north east. Source Infrastructure NSW.

The Bays precinct is located two kilometres west of the Sydney CBD, encompassing areas including Blackwattle Bay, Wentworth Park, Glebe Island, White Bay, Rozelle Bay, Rozelle Railyards and White Bay Power Station.

Tall building at Redfern Plaza in Redfern, Sydney CBD NSW. Photo by: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment / Salty Dingo

The State Significant Precinct process is used when investigating potential precincts.