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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Planning agreements are a tool that allows planning authorities and developers to work together to deliver innovative infrastructure outcomes.

 

Planning agreements can be negotiated at both the local and State government level. They are a legal agreement between a developer and a planning authority and are usually negotiated when a developer is submitting a development application or a planning proposal.

 

  • State planning agreements: These are negotiated between a developer and the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, for the provision of regional or State infrastructure. Information on State planning agreements, including a register of these agreements, can be found at State Voluntary Planning Agreements.
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  • Local planning agreements: These are negotiated between a developer and a council, for the provision of infrastructure to support communities. Each council must keep a register of all planning agreements they enter into and make this register available to the public.

 

The policies that govern how planning agreements can be used are found below. They include legislation, directions made by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and practice notes.

 

Legislation

 

Changes to infrastructure contributions

New reporting requirements for planning agreements

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 has been amended to improve transparency and accountability in the receipt by planning authorities of money, land and works in planning agreements. The new reporting requirements will commence on 1 July 2022.

 

For more information on the new requirements, refer to the Planning Circular (PDF, 157 KB) and Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 178 KB). The amending instrument is available on the NSW Legislation website.

 

Ministerial Directions

 
Name Date issued Description
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Planning Agreements) Direction 2018 Date issued28 February 2019 DescriptionRequires 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.

 

Practice notes

The Planning Agreements Practice Note was updated in February 2021 to address recommendations from the Kaldas review and to align with contemporary best practice and references. It now contains explanatory note requirements which have been transferred from the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

 
Name Date issued Description
NamePractice Note on Planning Agreements Date issuedFebruary 2021 DescriptionThis practice note provides detailed guidance on the negotiation, administration and making of planning agreements.

 

Note: The practice note on planning agreements should be read in conjunction with other infrastructure contributions practice notes.

 

Circulars

From time to time the department will issue circulars providing additional information on a variety of policy issues. If you would like to look at a particular circular, go to Planning System Circulars.

 

Practice notes and Ministerial Directions which have been superseded are maintained for reference. You can view superseded documents relating to planning agreements policy in the list below:

 
Name Date issued Description Revoked by
NamePractice Note on Planning Agreements Date issuedJuly 2005 DescriptionThis practice note provides detailed guidance on the negotiation, administration and making of planning agreements. Revoked byPractice Note on Planning Agreements issued in February 2021

Page last updated: 29/04/2021