NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Planning controls

Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan

The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP) was finalised with NSW approvals in place in August 2022. Commonwealth approvals are pending and more information about this is available on the legal disclaimer section of this page.

Implementation of biodiversity and development 

There are 5 planning controls that support the implementation of biodiversity and development commitments of the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (the CPCP). The planning controls apply to land identified as:

  • avoided land
  • certified-urban capable land, or 
  • land in a strategic conservation area.

The 5 planning controls are: 

Strategic Conservation Planning chapter of SEPP (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021 includes Chapter 13 Strategic Conservation Planning (‘Strategic Conservation Planning 2022’), which sets out the planning controls to achieve the development and biodiversity outcomes of the CPCP.

The objectives are to: 

  • ensure development in the nominated areas is consistent with the biodiversity certification under Part 8 of the Biodiversity and Conservation Act (BC Act), and strategic assessment under Part 10 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) – pending Commonwealth CPCP approval. 
  • facilitate appropriate development on biodiversity certified areas.
  • protect areas with high biodiversity value, regionally significant biodiversity that can support ecological function and areas with important connectivity or ecological restoration potential.
  • avoid or minimise impacts from future development on biodiversity values in areas with high biodiversity value.
  • support the acquisition of priority areas with high biodiversity value as conservation lands in perpetuity.

Strategic Conservation Planning 2022 mapping 

The Strategic Conservation Planning 2022 mapping has been added to the Planning Spatial Viewer, where users can search and view the land categories at a property scale. There is a spatial viewer glossary (PDF, 87 KB) available to assist with accessing the viewer. You can also watch a video on how to use the Cumberland Plan Conservation Plan spatial viewer.

Section 9.1 Ministerial Direction (Strategic Conservation Planning)

The ministerial direction 3.6 aims to protect land with high biodiversity value from the impacts of development. It requires a planning proposal to demonstrate that it protects or enhances biodiversity. This includes native vegetation, threatened ecological communities, koala habitat and corridors and matters of national environmental significance within the avoided lands or strategic conservation areas. 

It also prevents rezoning of avoided land or the strategic conservation area to urban development zones.

Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Avoided Land) Regulation 2022

The amendment to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021 includes notification and reporting requirements for Part 4 development and Part 5 activities under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) on avoided land. 

This amendment:

  • supports the CPCP’s infrastructure policy, where certain essential infrastructure activities can access the strategic assessment approval under Part 10 of the EPBC Act – pending Commonwealth CPCP approval
  • supports the CPCP’s commitment to annual reporting to the regulators of adverse impacts to matters of national environmental significance.
Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan Guidelines for Infrastructure Development

Part 2 of the Guidelines for Infrastructure Development are not currently in effect. Proponents will not be able to access the strategic assessment approval under Part 10 of the EPBC Act for ‘essential infrastructure’ on avoided land until the Commonwealth approval is in place. Proponents may need to seek their own approvals under the EPBC Act.

The Guidelines for Infrastructure Development (PDF, 524 KB) aim to ensure infrastructure development and activities are consistent with the CPCP’s commitments and actions, and maintain outcomes consistent with the Strategic Conservation Planning 2022. They identify when and how essential infrastructure is covered by the CPCP’s strategic assessment approval under Part 10 of the EPBC Act – pending Commonwealth CPCP approval. 

The guidelines also set out the requirements to avoid, minimise and mitigate impacts on biodiversity from infrastructure activities carried out under Part 5 of the EP&A Act on land identified as avoided land, strategic conservation area and certified – urban capable land. 

Consistency statement

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Avoided Land) Regulation 2022 requires a development application for essential infrastructure to be accompanied by a statement demonstrating consistency with the Guidelines for Infrastructure Development.

A Consistency Statement template (PDF,588 KB) is available for proponents to use. 

Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan Mitigation Measures Guideline

The Mitigation Measures Guidelines (PDF, 287 KB) apply to Part 4 development carried out on certified-urban capable land within the Greater Macarthur Growth Area and Greater Penrith to Eastern Creek Investigation Area. They also apply to development on certified-major transport corridors under the CPCP. 

The Guidelines set out the mitigation requirements that the identified development must address to ensure consistency with the CPCP’s biodiversity approvals. Mitigation measures relate to koalas and threatened ecological communities and species. 

Frequently asked questions

For more information about the planning controls and measures to support the CPCP’s implementation pathway, please see: 

More information 

For any enquiries, please contact the team via CPCP@planning.nsw.gov.au, or call 02 9585 6060 (between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday).

For translating and interpreting services: Please telephone 131 450 and ask for an interpreter in your language to connect you to 02 9585 6060. When connected please ask to speak to the Cumberland Plain Conservation team.

Legal disclaimer

 

The NSW Environment and Heritage Minister approved the CPCP which provides biodiversity certification under Part 8 of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act). This approval removes the need for landholders to seek their own biodiversity approvals under the BC Act for development on certified - urban capable land as long as they comply with planning controls under the CPCP, as set out in the Strategic Conservation Chapter of the SEPP (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021. 

The department is currently pursuing Commonwealth approval for the CPCP under Part 10 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Landholders can submit development applications, seek subdivision or start master planning. However, development that will have a significant impact on matters of national environmental significance (MNES) on certified - urban capable land cannot commence until the Commonwealth CPCP approval is in place. If MNES will not be significantly impacted, then the development may proceed subject to other relevant environmental and planning approvals being obtained. If you are unsure whether to submit a referral under the EPBC Act, please contact the Department of Climate Change, Energy and Environment and Water for advice. 

Part 2 of the Guidelines for Infrastructure Development are not currently in effect. Proponents will not be able to access the strategic assessment approval under Part 10 of the EPBC Act for ‘essential infrastructure’ on avoided land until the Commonwealth approval is in place. Proponents may need to seek their own approvals under the EPBC Act. 

Page last updated: 14/09/2022