NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Strategic planning

The Act recognises the critical role of councils in strategic planning for their local area.

Each council will prepare a local strategic planning statement (LSPS) which will set out the 20-year vision for land-use in the local area, the special character and values that are to be preserved and how change will be managed into the future.

The statements will implement actions in the regional and district plans, and the council’s own priorities in the community strategic plan it prepares under local government legislation.

The statements will shape how the development controls in the local environmental plan (LEP) evolve over time to meet the community's needs, with the LEP the main tool to deliver the council and community’s plan.

Ward councillors will have a lead role in preparing and endorsing the statements to ensure local views are reflected in the statements.

What is the purpose of the new local strategic planning statements?

The statements will be a succinct and easy to understand document that will allow community members to contribute to and understand the future direction of land use in their area.

The statements must identify the planning priorities for an area and explain how these are to be delivered. They must also show how the council will monitor and report on how the priorities will be implemented.

Councils may choose to develop their local strategic planning statement as a single approach for the whole council area and may choose to address matters on a theme or ward basis.

How are the local strategic planning statements different to community strategic plans?

Local strategic planning statements focus on the vision and priorities for land use in the local area whereas community strategic plans (prepared under the Local Government Act 1993) have a broader focus on achieving the long term social, environmental and economic aspirations of the community. They are the governing document for the council in its strategic business planning across all of its activities.


Greater Sydney councils are required to commence public exhibition of their draft local strategic planning statement by 1 October 2019 with the final version to be made by 31 March 2020. Regional councils must have their statement in place by 1 July 2020.

How will councils with wards prepare their LSPS?

As part of the LSPS changes, the Government included provisions to give recently amalgamated councils the option to address matters in their first LSPS by ward if the council decided this approach was appropriate.

This approach could help ensure the strategic priorities and local character of the former councils would be adequately considered in the development of the new council's strategic vision. This would be particularly relevant while newly councils are developing a new consolidated Local Environmental Plan for the amalgamated area.

Consistent with the Government's intention, the Minister for Planning recently issued a direction under section 3.9(3) to allow ward councillor endorsement of the LSPS for recently amalgamated councils.

It is important to note that this direction does not prevent any other council from structuring its LSPS into ward-based sections if appropriate.

More information

To learn more about the changes to the Act see Part 4 – Development controls and approvals.

Page last updated: 22/11/2022