NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Policy and Legislation

Collaborating to deliver quality economic, social and environmental outcomes that create resilient communities and great places.

Changes to planning rules made to improve road safety and reduce driver distraction.

The department is working with Local Aboriginal Land Councils to unlock the economic potential of Aboriginal community owned land and deliver better outcomes for Aboriginal people across NSW.

Alpine resort development assessments are governed by Chapter 4 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Precincts-Regional 2021).

Strategic conservation planning is an approach to assessing and conserving our native plants and animals early in the planning process for large scale urban development, to ensure they are protected.

Building regulation and certification are important parts of the planning system in New South Wales.

The NSW Government has made changes to planning rules to make it easier for people to rebuild after natural disasters.

The department’s policies and programs support good strategic planning and development assessment in these vulnerable and in-demand areas.

The NSW Government is working with councils to support communities across the state in response to COVID-19.

As our population grows and our state develops, we are ensuring the natural environment and our heritage are protected. In this section, you will find plans stretching from our parklands to the skies; from our native animals to our vegetation. You’ll also find guidelines about live entertainment in venues.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 has been updated and is the culmination of the biggest overhaul of the Act since the legislation’s inception almost 40 years ago.

The State Policy for exempt and complying development is contained within the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy).

In March 2020, the Commonwealth and NSW Governments signed Amending Agreement No 1, amending the original Bilateral Agreement relating to environmental assessment.

A number of Hazardous Industry Planning Advisory Papers (HIPAPs) and other guidelines such as Applying SEPP 33 and Multi-level Risk Assessment have been issued by the department to assist stakeholders in implementing an integrated assessment process.

In this section, you will find plans and policies promoting the delivery of high quality apartments, housing for seniors, affordable rental housing and for caravan parks, camping grounds and manufactured homes.

Infrastructure improves our quality of life, making our cities and regions better places to live. It also promotes economic growth by allowing the movement of people, resources and ideas.

The NSW Government is committed to ensuring strategic planning recognises and enhances the local character of an area, and that communities share what they value about their area.

The department is investigating ways it can help entrepreneurs who want to establish or expand existing businesses to add to the vibrancy of the Night Time Economy.

The NSW Government has introduced a range of measures designed to deliver greater protection to homes and agricultural land from the impacts of mining and coal seam gas (CSG) activity.

We’re developing coordinated, thoughtful and strategic plans for NSW’s growing population, with more green spaces for recreational use and improved liveability.

The NSW Government has introduced a suite of reforms to deliver a timely, certain and transparent planning system for NSW.

The department is committed to ensuring risk from natural hazards is understood and considered early through strategic planning so that communities are protected from existing and future risks.

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 new framework will provide greater clarity, consistency and transparency for industry and the community regarding both assessment and decision-making on wind energy projects.

The retail sector is an important industry which provides services and jobs. Retail premises not only supports the needs of the community, but the vitality and competitiveness of NSW and Australia. In Australia, the retail sector generates more than $72 billion per year, with NSW contributing more than a third of this at $22.8 billion per year.

The department issues Building System Circulars regarding matters and issues about building codes and regulations.

The department issues Planning System Circulars regarding matters and issues that relate to planning and policy.

The NSW government is implementing a range of new policies and legislation and some are under review. Find out what is currently under review as well as what's new policy and legislation.