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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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A Plan for Sustainable Development in NSW

Certainty, simplicity and flexibility lie at the heart of the Minister’s Planning Principles to focus the system on sustainable development and drive more homes, jobs and open space across NSW.

On 2 December 2021, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes released a new thematic framework underpinned  by the Minister’s Planning Principles and grouped into nine focus areas to guide planning and development in New South Wales.

What are we doing?

The Minister’s Planning Principles bring together well-accepted practices of good planning and insights for achieving the best outcomes across the focus areas.

The principles set the government’s expectations of how the planning system should operate and focuses on achieving sustainable outcomes.


View the Minister’s Planning Principles document

Why are we doing it?

The Planning Principles are presented in plain, universal language and concepts to help planning authorities, planning practitioners and the community engage with and participate in planning in NSW.  

We are instilling more certainty, usability and flexibility in the planning system by reorienting and simplifying it.

Clear upfront direction will help guide decisions to achieve sustainable outcomes and support the delivery of new homes and jobs.

How are we doing it?

The Minister’s Planning Principles backed by strong planning policies, will inform and strengthen future strategic and land use plans:

Planning Systems

A strategic and inclusive planning system for the community and the environment.

Design and Place

Delivering well-designed places that enhance quality of life, the environment and the economy.


Biodiversity and Conservation

Preserving, conserving and managing NSW’s natural environment and heritage.


Resilience and Hazards

Managing risks and building resilience in the face of hazards.


Transport and Infrastructure  

Providing well-designed and located transport and infrastructure integrated with land use.



Delivering a sufficient supply of safe, diverse, and affordable housing.


Industry and Employment

Growing a competitive and resilient economy that is adaptive, innovative and delivers jobs.


Resources and Energy

Promoting the sustainable use of NSW’s resources and transitioning to renewable energy.


Primary Production 

Protecting and supporting agricultural lands and opportunities for primary production.


We are consolidating the 45 existing State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) into 11 policies that reflect the new principles. These include policies for housing, employment, primary production, design and the environment.

We are also reorganising the existing Planning Circulars and Ministerial Directions under the nine theme-based on focus areas.

Click on the tiles to find out more about the consolidated SEPPs, Planning Circulars and Plan Making Ministerial Directions (which include a new direction which gives effect to the Planning Principles in the local plan making process). : 

Consolidated State Environmental Planning Policies

The SEPPs are to be consolidated to align with the thematic framework and nine theme-based focus areas.

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Plan Making Ministerial Directions

Plan Making Ministerial Directions will be reoriented under the thematic framework which do not commence until 1 March 2022.

Planning Making Ministerial Directions tile 430x278

When do the changes commence?

The Planning Principles, consolidated SEPPs and updated Plan Making Ministerial Directions will commence from 1 March 2022.


Supporting documents


Page last updated: 16/12/2021