A NSW Government website

Strategic Planning Toolkit

The Strategic Planning Toolkit is a hub for resources to support local councils and planning professionals in LEP making.

The aim of the toolkit is to provide guidance on LEP making and to assist in the implementation of the goals and directions contained within the Regional Plans and the five District Plans.

The Strategic Planning Toolkit will provide an up-to-date resource for local councils and planning professionals to employ best practice planning across NSW.

Strategic Planning Framework infographic showing the document breakdown of a Local Environmental Plan.

State plans

Regional plans

Regional plans are state-led strategic planning documents that set the direction and establish objectives to deliver a liveable productive, and sustainable planning framework in NSW.

Learn more about regional plans.

District plans

Five district plans implement the vision and objectives of the Greater Sydney Region Plan at a district level.

These 20-year plans provide a bridge between regional and local planning to inform LEPs, local strategic planning statements (LSPS), community strategic plans and the assessment of planning proposals.

State-led rezoning

Precincts provide a placed based strategic planning approach to growth in Sydney and set specific actions and objectives for specific areas, based on the vision outlined in the region or district plan.

Precincts provide a coordinated approach by state and local government to help ensure infrastructure such as schools, parks, community facilities, public transport and road upgrades are delivered in line with increased housing and jobs to support community needs.

Learn more about a new approach to precincts.

Metropolitan plans and special activation precincts

There are a number of other strategic planning documents including the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 and special activation precincts in regional NSW. These documents set out strategies and actions for a particular LGA or precinct to create jobs, attract businesses and investors, support local industries and fuel economic development.

Learn more about:

Local plans

Local strategic planning statements

A Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) sets out the strategic planning ambitions for a LGA as a whole and for specific areas. The LSPS allows councils to translate their strategic planning into local priorities and actions and identifies the need for further local strategic planning work.

Learn more about strategic planning from the updated Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The LSPS Guideline for Councils (PDF, 2.6 MB) provides information for councils, the community, and other stakeholders on the contents of a LSPS, how it is made and how it is implemented.

Local housing strategies

Local housing strategies are detailed strategic and implementation plans that show where and how new homes are best developed in each local government area.

Learn more about local housing strategies.

The local housing strategy guideline provides a step-by-step process for producing local housing strategies.

Endorsed local strategies

Local council strategies that are endorsed, in full or part, by us may be used:

  • to demonstrate the strategic merit of planning proposals;
  • by planning panels or the Independent Planning Commission to determine whether a planning proposal being considered for a rezoning review has strategic merit;
  • by the planning proposal authority to justify inconsistency with certain section 9.1(2) Local Planning Directions.

Endorsed local council strategies are listed below for each region, and endorsement letters are attached. Only the version of the strategy at the time of endorsement is considered endorsed not subsequent amendments.

Sydney Metropolitan

Northern Region

LGAName of strategyDate endorsed
Armidale RegionalArmidale Dumaresq Bulky Goods Retail and Industrial Lands Study 2010 (PDF, 39 KB)28/07/2010
Armidale Dumaresq Industrial Lands Study 2012 (PDF, 76 KB)18/04/2013
New England Strategic Alliance of Councils Development Strategy 2010 (PDF, 64 KB)16/03/2010
BallinaBallina Growth Management Strategy (PDF, 1 MB)07/05/2013
BellingenBellingen Shire Growth Management Strategy (PDF, 215 KB)12/04/2007
Bellingen Shire Employment Land Strategy (PDF, 1.1 MB)10/07/2013
ByronByron Shire Business and Industrial Lands Strategy (PDF, 92 KB)29/09/2020
Byron Shire Rural Land Use Strategy 2017 (PDF, 543 KB)13/06/2018
Clarence ValleyClarence Valley Settlement Strategy (PDF, 112 KB)08/03/1999
Clarence Local Growth Management Strategy (Maclean Urban Catchment Component) (PDF, 603 KB)04/11/2011
Clarence Valley Employment Land Strategy 2022 (PDF, 158 KB)23/05/2023
Clarence Valley Council Rural Lands Strategy (PDF, 92 KB)31/08/2023
Coffs HarbourCoffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy Chapter 8 Employment Lands (PDF, 125 KB)27/10/2020
Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy Chapter 7 (PDF, 116 KB)12/10/2020
Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy Chapter 5 Rural Lands (PDF, 145 KB)03/07/2020
Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy – Coffs Harbour to 2040 and beyond: Chapters 1-4 and Chapter 6 (PDF, 115 KB)13/01/2020
Our Living City – A Settlement Strategy to 2031 (PDF, 95 KB)11/11/2009
Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy – Business Lands Component Aug 2009 (PDF, 58 KB)24/09/2010
Coffs Harbour Rural Residential Strategy (PDF, 108 KB)03/05/2010
Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy Industrial Lands Component (PDF, 95 KB)11/11/2009
Glen Innes SevernGlen Innes Severn Land Use Plan 2010 (PDF, 39 KB)17/06/2010
GunnedahGunnedah Shire Local Environmental Study (Bridging Report) 2010 (incorporating the Gunnedah Shire Rural Lands Strategy 2009, and the Gunnedah Shire Commercial and Industrial Lands Study 2009) (PDF, 480 KB)19/08/2010
Namoi 2030 Regional Resource Strategy (PDF, 59 KB)31/03/2011
InverellInverell Rural Land Strategy (PDF, 51 KB)23/10/2011
Inverell Strategic Land Use Plan 2011-2031 (PDF, 39 KB)28/03/2012
KempseyKempsey Local Growth Strategy (Residential Component) (PDF, 61 KB)06/06/2011
Kempsey Local Growth Strategy (Rural Residential Component) (PDF, 61 KB)17/12/2014
Kempsey Local Growth Management Strategy 2041 (PDF, 110 KB)23/08/2023
KyogleKyogle Local Growth Management Strategy (PDF, 39 KB)22/06/2010
LismoreLismore Growth Management Strategy 2015-2035 (PDF, 70 KB)11/08/2015
Lismore Growth and Realignment Strategy 2022 (PDF, 98 KB)22/06/2023
Lismore Growth and Realignment Strategy 2022 – Addendum (PDF, 93 KB)11/09/2023
Liverpool PlainsLiverpool Plains Growth Management Strategy 2009 (PDF, 426 KB)14/10/2009
Namoi 2030 Regional Resource Strategy (PDF, 59 KB)31/03/2011
Moree PlainsMoree Plains Growth Management Strategy 2009 (PDF, 175 KB)20/04/2009
NambuccaNambucca Shire Local Growth Management Strategy (Employment Lands) (PDF, 81 KB)14/04/2011
Nambucca Shire Council Urban Land Release Strategy (PDF, 154 KB)13/01/1998
Nambucca Shire Urban Release Strategy – Annexure 1 Eungai Creek (PDF, 369 KB)14/04/2003
Nambucca Local Growth Management Strategy (Rural Residential Land) (PDF, 237 KB)16/01/2009
NarrabriNarrabri Growth Management Strategy 2010 (PDF, 60 KB)12/04/2010
Narrabri Growth Management Strategy Addendum – Boggabri Strategic Planning Review 2014 (PDF, 76 KB)19/05/2015
Namoi 2030 Regional Resource Strategy (PDF, 59 KB)31/03/2011
Port Macquarie HastingsPort Macquarie Hastings Urban Growth Management Strategy (PDF, 62 KB)05/05/2011
John Oxley Drive Precinct Structure Plan (PDF, 52 KB)01/11/2012
Port Macquarie Hastings Urban Growth Management Strategy 2036 (PDF, 293 KB)02/11/2018
Richmond ValleyRichmond Valley Growth Management Strategy 2023 and Casino Place Plan 2023 (PDF, 102 KB)03/08/2023
Evans Head Urban Land Release Strategy (PDF, 81 KB)21/12/2006
Casino Urban Land Release Strategy (PDF, 95 KB)18/08/2005
Richmond River Rural Residential Land Release Strategy (PDF, 144 KB)04/03/1999
Tamworth RegionalTamworth Regional Development Strategy 2008 (PDF, 1.1 MB)18/04/2008
South Tamworth Rural Lands Masterplan (PDF, 56 KB)16/04/2013
Namoi 2030 Regional Resource Strategy (PDF, 59 KB)31/03/2011
TweedTweed Rural Land Strategy (PDF, 158 KB)07/10/2020
Tweed Rural Villages Strategy (PDF, 708 KB)25/05/2017
UrallaNew England Strategic Alliance of Councils Development Strategy 2010 (PDF, 64 KB)16/03/2010
WalchaNew England Strategic Alliance of Councils Development Strategy 2010 (PDF, 64 KB)16/03/2010

Western Region

LGAName of strategyDate endorsed
BalranaldBalranald Strategic Framework (PDF, 62 KB)05/05/2010
Bathurst RegionalBathurst Region Urban Strategy 2008 (PDF, 96 KB)21/05/2008
Bathurst Region Rural Strategy (PDF, 95 KB)14/05/2013
BlayneyBlayney Settlement Strategy (PDF, 49 KB)10/11/2012
Blayney, Cabonne and OrangeBlayney, Cabonne and Orange – Sub Regional Rural, Rural Residential and Industrial Land Use Strategy (PDF, 50 KB)30/06/2011
BoganWestern Council’s Comprehensive Land Use Strategy (PDF, 270 KB)26/02/2010
BourkeBourke Shire Strategy – November 2012 (PDF, 47 KB)19/12/2012
Broken HillBroken Hill Land Use Strategy – September 2012
Part A – Local Profile and Issues Paper
Part B – Land Use Strategy (PDF, 62 KB)
04/07/2013
CabonneCabonne Settlement Strategy (PDF, 49 KB)15/10/2012
Central DarlingCentral Darling Strategy – November 2012 (PDF, 41 KB)20/12/2012
ConargoConargo Rural Lands Strategy (PDF, 53 KB)19/06/2013
CorowaCorowa 2011-2031 Strategic Land Use Plan and Site Assessment Report dated July 2011 (PDF, 156 KB)25/06/2012
CowraCowra Shire Land Use Strategy – February 2011 (PDF, 51 KB)10/01/2013
DubboDubbo Land Use Strategies (PDF, 116 KB) – including Urban Development Strategy, Dubbo Rural Areas Development Strategy associated reviews, amending reports and Council Policies03/02/2012
ForbesForbes Growth Management Strategy and Rural Lands Supplement – February 2009 (PDF, 91 KB)21/04/2009
GilgandraWestern Council’s Sub Regional Land Use Strategy (PDF, 270 KB)26/02/2010
GriffithGriffith Land Use Strategy (PDF, 75 KB)17/04/2013
HayCommunity and Settlement Sustainability Strategy – March 2012 (PDF, 61 KB)24/04/2012
LachlanLachlan Primary Production/Resource Strategy – March 2009 (PDF, 58 KB)20/09/2010
Lachlan Minimum Lot Sizes for Rural Dwellings Study (PDF, 54 KB)03/07/2013
LithgowLithgow Land Use Strategy 2010-2030 (PDF, 61 KB)24/05/2012
Mid-WesternMid-Western Comprehensive Land Use Strategy (PDF, 223 KB)01/08/2011
Mudgee and Gulgong Urban Release Strategy (PDF, 57 KB)23/01/2015
NarromineWestern Council’s Sub Regional Land Use Strategy (PDF, 270 KB)26/02/2010
Rural Residential and Agricultural Lands Strategy (PDF, 79 KB)08/08/2013
OberonOberon Land Use Strategy – Draft June 2011 and Amendment 2012 (PDF, 287 KB)16/12/2013
OrangeOrange Sustainable Settlement Strategy (PDF, 43 KB)29/07/2011
Blayney, Cabonne and Orange – Sub Regional Rural, Rural Residential and Industrial Land Use Strategy (PDF, 50 KB)30/06/2011
ParkesParkes Shire Land Use Strategy 2011 (PDF, 59 KB)21/08/2012
WakoolWakool Shire Land Use Strategy and Supplementary Information (PDF, 54 KB)24/03/2011
WalgettWalgett Shire Council Growth Management Study and Strategy (PDF, 235 KB)18/05/2011
WarrenWestern Council’s Sub Regional Land Use Strategy (PDF, 270 KB)26/02/2010
WarrumbungleWarrumbungle Shire Council Land Use Strategy (PDF, 72 KB)04/07/2013
WentworthWentworth Strategic Framework Document and LES (PDF, 47 KB)23/12/2011
Western Councils – Bogan, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Narromine and WarrenWestern Council’s Sub Regional Land Use Strategy (PDF, 270 KB)
NB: Coonamble component not endorsed as council has not adopted it.
26/02/2010

Southern Region

Hunter and Central Coast Region

Policy and ministerial directions

State environmental planning policies

State environmental planning policies (SEPPs) are instruments that address planning issues on a state-wide level. This is different to a LEP which addresses planning controls for a local government area.

Planning proposals must provide an assessment against the relevant SEPPs and advise on how a proposal may satisfy the requirements of a SEPP.

The current list of SEPPs is located at NSW legislation.

Ministerial directions

The s9.1 ministerial directions cover the following broad categories:

  • planning systems
  • biodiversity and conservation
  • resilience and hazards
  • transport and infrastructure
  • housing
  • industry and employment
  • resources and energy
  • primary production.

Current and previously issued s9.1 directions

The following documents provide advice on ministerial directions issued under section 9.1 of the EP&A Act.

Directions for planning proposals

Directions for local infrastructure contributions

Directions for planning agreements

Requires 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.

Resources for section 9.1 Integrating Land Use and Transport

Relevant planning system circulars

Guidelines

Withdrawal of Development Applications

The NSW Government is ramping up its efforts to get more people into homes sooner, releasing the 23A Guidelines on the withdrawal of Development Applications (PDF, 670 KB) for councils.

The guidelines help address the state’s housing shortfall and ensure the DA process is not holding up the potential pipeline of housing projects across NSW.

Resources

Donations and gift disclosure

All planning proposals and draft LEPs must comply with State law regarding reportable political donations. For more details, including a disclosure form, refer to:

Planning circulars

Planning system circulars provide non-statutory advice on NSW Government principles, procedures and practices to assist in implementing relevant planning laws and policies.

LEP practice notes

Planning practice notes provide updated commentary, guidance, and advice for planning matters generally related to principle local environmental plans and the Standard Instrument. A practice note is for information purposes only and does not comprise legal advice.

Contributions practice notes

Planning agreements practice note

Mapping standards and requirements

In 2015, we developed revised standard technical requirements for spatial datasets and maps contained within planning instruments and other plans.

The standard technical requirements cover LEPs, SEPPs, development control plans and contributions plans.

The revised requirements updated and consolidated previous requirements and guidance. Previous requirements can be sourced by contacting [email protected]

Councils need to prepare spatial data and maps as per the specified standards and submit to us at draft and final stages via the online submission system for planning data available on the NSW Planning Portal.

Our continuous quality assurance program involves working with councils to ensure that the planning data submitted as part of the plan-making process meets the adopted standard.

Read the Standard Technical Requirements for Spatial Datasets and Maps (PDF, 1.8 MB) document.

For more information read the Planning Circular PS 15-005 – Commencement of the NSW Planning Portal (PDF, 72 KB).

Access the NSW Planning Portal and the Online Submission System for Planning Data.

Parliamentary Counsel’s Office

The Parliamentary Counsel's Office (PCO) has issued advice regarding the drafting and notification processes for making delegated plans, which can be found at PCO – Information. PCO also has resources to assist in the drafting process, which can be found at PCO – Resources.

Model clauses

Additional provisions (commonly referred to as ‘local provisions’ or ’model local clauses’) are local clauses that have been settled by the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office that address common topics raised by councils in their standard instrument LEP preparation. The use of settled clauses reduces the time required to amend a standard instrument LEP.

Where councils would like to use one or more of the examples provided but wish to make some minor alterations to suit their specific circumstances, these may be considered with the appropriate justification, although we recommend that they be adopted 'as is' wherever possible.

For further information please contact your relevant place or regional team.

Land use matrix

The land use matrix (XLSX, 177 KB) is an Excel spreadsheet that identifies standard land use terms, standard zones and permissibility. It has been prepared by the department to assist councils with the preparation of local environmental plans consistent with the Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Order 2006. The matrix also includes permissible land uses under a number of state environmental planning policies.

Councils can complete the matrix of intended permitted and prohibited land uses to assist in discussions with the department about their draft plan. Instructions on how to complete the matrix are provided under the ‘Instructions’ tab of the Excel spreadsheet.

Find out more about how to use land use tables.

Important note: This information does not constitute legal advice. Users are advised to seek professional advice and refer to the relevant legislation, as necessary.

Disclaimer: While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that this document is correct at the time of publication, the State of New South Wales, its agencies and employees, disclaim any and all liability to any person in respect of anything or the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done in reliance upon the whole or any part of this document.

Using departmental data

The department provides regular and insightful information on demographics, forecasting and population change at Research and demography.