A NSW Government website

Working with communities

Community Guide to Planning

The NSW Government is committed to reducing complexity and providing clarity for the community as they navigate the NSW planning system.

The department has developed the Community Guide to Planning – offering clear, detailed and easy to follow information, including who does the planning, how it works and how the community can get involved.

If you want to know more about how parks, libraries and other community facilities are planned for, find out what the rules are before you build a shed, a deck or start a renovation, or understand how to have your say on the future of your area, read the Community Guide to Planning (PDF, 14.8 MB).

The Community Guide to Planning in NSW responds to the Kaldas Review of Decision-Making in the NSW Planning System’s recommendations that planning should be easier to understand with simpler language and materials and a user-friendly plain English guide for the NSW planning system.

Clear, detailed and easy to follow information, including who does the planning, how it works and how you can get involved.

Community Participation Plan

The department is committed to creating great places to live, work and play for communities across New South Wales. This can only be achieved if the community is engaged in our planning functions at the earliest possible opportunity.

Our Community Participation Plan (CPP) is designed to make participation in planning clearer for the NSW community. The CPP explains how and when you can have your say on plans, projects and the NSW planning frameworks that impact you and is a benchmark to improve engagement practices in the NSW planning system. It outlines our commitment to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and culturally and linguistically diverse groups.

The CPP incorporates feedback received from the community and other stakeholders during the public exhibition of the draft in 2018.

If you want to have a say in the future planning of NSW read our Community Participation Plan.

Read the plan

Community engagement case studies

The series of case studies below demonstrates how the department encourages community participation by facilitating early engagement activities and organising events to meet local and regional communities. We aim to understand how you feel and what you need in your area.

Jindabyne Masterplan 2036

In May 2019, the department engaged with the Jindabyne community and surrounding towns through a variety of face-to-face and online means, including workshops, pop-up events and working groups. This engagement has allowed the department to understand the unique values, character and story of Jindabyne and discuss the future of the town, its challenges and its opportunities.

A masterplan to revitalise the gateway town to the Snowy Mountains.

The Rosehill Chand Raat Festival

In June 2019, we visited the Chand Raat Festival, which is the biggest celebration of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr in Australia. We spoke with over 500 locals in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi and English to hear from people of all ages and background about their ideas for a great neighbourhood.

Find out what locals love about Rosehill's Chand Raat Festival.

Engaging with Aboriginal communities

The department’s regional team together with the Aboriginal Community Land and Infrastructure Program (ACLIP) team actively consulted with the Local Aboriginal Land Councils in NSW about how Aboriginal community-owned land can best be planned, managed and developed.

During the engagement process, the land councils expressed a need for support for a strengthening of the economic self-determination of their communities. They also expressed the need for the strategic assessment of land held by land councils so they could identify priority sites for investigation of their economic opportunities.

As a result, the department’s ACLIP team responded by coordinating a series of Introduction to the NSW Planning System workshops across NSW for all Local Aboriginal Land Councils.

With the knowledge gained from the workshops, the land councils have been empowered to engage with the NSW Planning system, and to achieve economic development outcomes through better land use planning and informed decision making.

The La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council get some outdoor training at the Introduction to the NSW Planning System workshop.
The La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council get some outdoor training at the Introduction to the NSW Planning System workshop.