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.
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.
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.
Learn more about Greater Sydney district plans.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
|LGA||Name of strategy||Date endorsed|
|Northern Beaches||Warriewood Valley Strategic Review 2013 (PDF, 83 KB)||1 May 2013|
|Willoughby||Chatswood CBD Planning and Urban Design Strategy (PDF, 1.7 MB)||9 August 2019|
|Willoughby||Chatswood CBD Planning and Urban Design Strategy (PDF, 98 KB)||9 July 2020|
|LGA||Name of strategy||Date endorsed|
|Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council||
Queanbeyan Residential and Economic Strategy 2015-2031 (PDF, 1.3 MB)
|Bungendore Structure Plan (PDF, 90 KB)||30/11/2010|
|Wagga Wagga City Council||Wagga Wagga Spatial Plan 2013-2043 (PDF, 712 KB)||27/02/2014|
|Albury City Council||
Albury Thurgoona Wirlinga Precinct Structure Plan 2013 (PDF, 58 KB)
|Rural Lands Strategy for Table Top and Splitters Creek (PDF, 52 KB)||17/08/2016|
|Yass Valley Council||Yass Town and Village Study (PDF, 824 KB)||28/06/2011|
|Junee Shire Council||Junee Residential Strategy 2006 (PDF, 1 MB)||11/01/2008|
|Shoalhaven City Council||Shoalhaven Growth Management Strategy 2014 (PDF, 428 KB)||20/05/2014|
|Wollongong City Council||
|Illawarra Escarpment Strategic Management Plan 2015 (PDF, 1.1 MB)||01/12/2015|
Hunter and Central Coast Region
|LGA||Name of strategy||Date endorsed|
|Upper Hunter||Upper Hunter Land Use Strategy (PDF, 368 KB)||21/01/2010|
|Muswellbrook||Muswellbrook Residential and Rural Residential Strategy 2014 (PDF, 83 KB)||08/05/2015|
|Wyong||Wyong Settlement Strategy 2013 (PDF, 115 KB)||17/09/2013|
|Maitland||Maitland Urban Settlement Strategy 2008 (PDF, 147 KB)||01/09/2009|
|Singleton||Singleton Land Use Strategy (PDF, 57 KB)||08/06/2008|
Policy and ministerial directions
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 legislation.nsw.gov.au/browse/inforce.
The s9.1 ministerial directions cover the following broad categories:
- planning systems
- biodiversity and conservation
- resilience and hazards
- transport and infrastructure
- 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
- List of local planning directions issued by the Minister on or after 1 July 2009 (PDF, 618 KB) latest version issued on 20 February 2023
- Map Sheet LAP_001 St Leonards and Crows Nest 2036 Plan Section 9.1 Direction 1.13 (PDF, 608 KB)
- Map Sheet LAP_001 Cooks Cove Precinct Section 9.1 Direction 1.12 (PDF, 677 KB)
- Map Sheet LAP_001 Pyrmont Peninsula Place Strategy Section 9.1 Direction 1.15 (PDF, 1.4 MB)
- Map Sheet Map LAP_001 Bays West Place Strategy Section 9.1 Direction 1.17 (PDF, 1.9 MB)
- Map Sheet LAP_001 Macquarie Park Innovation Precinct Section 9.1 Direction (PDF, 876 KB)
- Map Sheet LAP_001 Westmead Place Strategy Section 9.1 Direction (PDF, 1.0 MB)
- Map Sheet LAP_001 Camellia-Rosehill Place Strategy Section 9.1 Direction (PDF, 618 KB)
Directions for local infrastructure contributions
- Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Further Amendment Direction 2020 (PDF, 68 KB)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Timing of Payments) Direction 2020 (PDF, 168 KB)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2020 (PDF, 40 KB)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Information) Direction 2020 (PDF, 125 KB)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Pooling of Contributions) Direction 2020 (PDF, 127 KB)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Further Amendment Direction 2019 (PDF, 237 KB)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Further Amendment Direction 2018 (PDF, 1.9 MB)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2018 (PDF, 678 KB)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2017 (PDF, 6 MB)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2016 (PDF, 3.6 MB)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Levies) Direction 2015 (PDF, 87 KB)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
- Revocation of Direction in force under section 94E and Direction under section 94E (PDF, 27 KB)
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
- Improving Transport Choice – Guidelines for planning and development, August 2001 (PDF, 935 KB)
- The Right Place for Business and Services – Planning policy, August 2001 (PDF, 225 KB)
Relevant planning system circulars
- Circular PS 08-002 State Environmental Planning Policy (Rural Lands) 2008 – Issued 9 May 2008 (PDF, 56.9 KB)
- Circular PS 07-008 New section 117 directions – Issued 17 July 2007 (PDF, 36.8 KB)
- Revised local planning directions: Overview of key changes – includes a comparison of new and previous directions and the effect of the changes (July 2007)
- Circular PS 07-003 New guideline and changes to section 117 direction and EP&A Regulation on flood prone land – Issued 31 January 2007 (PDF, 122 KB)
The LEP Making Guideline will help you understand the LEP making process and how to prepare a planning proposal.
- LEP Making Guideline (PDF, 10.3 MB)
- Attachment A – Scoping Proposal Template (DOCX, 6.9 MB)
- Attachment B – Interim Authority and Government Agency Planning Proposal Pre-Lodgement Referral Checklist (PDF, 219 KB)
- Attachment C – Supporting Technical Information Guide (PDF, 119 KB)
- Planning Reform Action Plan – Frequently asked questions (PDF, 198 KB)
- Legislation NSW Standard Instrument Principal — Local Environmental Plan
- Standard Instrument — Local Environmental Plan (ZIP, 516 KB)
- Legislation NSW Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Order 2006
- Planning circular PS 11–011 Amendment to the Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Order 2006 (PDF, 534 KB) issued 10 March 2011
- Follow-up Review of 2022 Audit of Councils’ use of clause 4.6 – March 2023 (PDF, 431 KB)
- 2022 Audit Report – Councils’ use of clause 4.6 of the Standard Instrument – November 2022 (PDF, 627 KB)
- 2020 Audit Report – Councils’ use of clause 4.6 of the Standard Instrument – August 2021 (PDF, 599 KB)
- 2020 Report on the audit of council use of SEPP1/clause 4.6 – August 2021 (PDF, 593 KB)
- Varying development standards: A Guide – August 2011 (PDF, 173 KB)
- Report on the follow-up of 2016 audit recommendations – July 2019 (PDF, 276 KB)
- 2016 Report on the audit of council use of SEPP1/clause 4.6 – November 2017 (PDF, 300 KB)
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 system circulars provide non-statutory advice on NSW Government principles, procedures and practices to assist in implementing relevant planning laws and policies.
- PS 22-004: Application requirements (PDF, 122 KB)
- PS 22-003: Independent reviews of plan making decisions (PDF, 115 KB) replaces PS 18-012
- PS 22-002: Delegation of plan making decisions (PDF, 111 KB) replaces PS 21-004
- PS 22-001: Independent review of planning proposals for identified Aboriginal land (PDF, 102 KB) replaces PS 21-032
- PS 21-038: Regulating expansion of schools (PDF, 508 KB)
- PS 21-037: Guidance for centre-based child care facilities (PDF, 205 KB)
- PS 21-036: Exempt and Complying Development Codes: asbestos material (PDF, 320 KB)
- PS 21-035: Planning Certificates: loose-fill asbestos material (PDF, 285 KB)
- PS 21-034: Planning Certificates: contaminated land (PDF, 224 KB)
- PS 21-033: Planning Certificates: Coastal Hazards (PDF, 267 KB)
- PS 21-031: Planning and assessment guidelines for hazardous industry (PDF, 227 KB)
- PS 21-030: Planning certificates: biodiversity and native vegetation (PDF, 225 KB)
- PS 21-029: Development adjacent to land in a pipeline corridor (PDF, 246 KB)
- PS 21-028: Amendments to Retail Land Use Definitions (PDF, 335 KB)
- PS 21-027: Low Rise Housing Diversity Design Guide for Development Applications (PDF, 139 KB)
- PS 21-026: Planning and designing for better places: respecting and enhancing local character (PDF, 228 KB)
- PS 21-025: Conditions of consent for fibre-ready facilities and telecommunications infrastructure (PDF, 240 KB)
- PS 21-024: Amendment to provisions for concept (formerly ‘staged’) development applications (PDF, 236 KB)
- PS 21-023: State Environmental Planning Policy (Three Ports) 2013 – Planning provisions for Port Botany, Port Kembla and Port of Newcastle (PDF, 324 KB)
- PS 21-022: Calculating the genuine estimated cost of development (PDF, 366 KB)
- PS 21-021: Caravan parks and camping grounds (PDF, 282 KB)
- PS 21-020: Calculation of capital investment value (PDF, 170 KB)
- PS 21-019: Landowner’s consent and notification requirements – Local Aboriginal Land Councils (PDF, 217 KB)
- PS 21-018: Development near rail corridors and busy roads – interim guideline (PDF, 296 KB)
- PS 21-017: State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 (PDF, 159 KB)
- PS 21-016: Approval to install relocaul and flat-pack homes outside a caravan park or manufactured home estate (PDF, 282 KB)
- PS 21-015: Performance monitoring of the planning system (PDF, 151 KB)
- PS 21-014: Minor amendments to local environmental plans using section 3.22 (PDF, 188 KB)
- PS 21-013: Transitional arrangements for development control plans (PDF, 157 KB)
- PS 21-012: Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Order 2006 (PDF, 181 KB)
- PS 21-011: Requirements for councils to provide certain planning documents and data via the NSW Planning Portal (PDF, 169 KB)
- PS 21-010 Development on bush fire prone land (PDF, 249 KB)
- PS 21-009: Planning for coastal hazards (PDF, 256 KB)
- PS 21-008: How to characterise development (PDF, 264 KB)
- PS 21-007: Consolidation of state environmental planning policies (PDF, 232 KB)
- PS 21-006: Considering flooding in land use planning: guidance and statutory requirements (PDF, 142 KB)
- PS 21-005: Changes to State significant development and State significant infrastructure (PDF, 108 KB)
- PS 21-003: Increasing section 7.12 levies (PDF, 137 KB)
- PS 21-002: Reporting and accounting requirements for infrastructure contributions (PDF, 157 KB)
- PS 21-001: Improving planning agreements (PDF, 140 KB)
- PS 20-003: Payment of infrastructure contributions or levies prior to the issuing of an occupation certificate (PDF, 225 KB)
- PS 20-002: Variations to development standards (PDF, 274 KB)
- PS 20-001: Planning for Bushfire Protection 2019 (PDF, 37 KB)
- PS 19-006: Planning for coastal hazards (PDF, 179 KB)
- PS 19-005: Commencement of new Online Submission System for the NSW Planning Portal and requirement for councils to provide certain planning documents and data (PDF, 71 KB)
- PS 19-003: Independent review of planning proposals for identified Aboriginal land (PDF, 145 KB)
- PS 19-002: Contributions Plans for Growth Areas (PDF, 147 KB)
- PS 19-001: Amendments to Local Infrastructure Contributions Practice Note (PDF, 115 KB)
- PS 18-011: Loose-fill asbestos insulation notations (PDF, 444 KB)
- PS 18-010: Development adjacent to high pressure pipelines transporting dangerous goods (PDF, 335 KB)
- PS 18-009: State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing for Seniors or People with a Disability) 2004 - Site Compatibility Certificates (PDF, 761 KB)
- PS 18-008: Amendments to Retail Land Use Definitions (PDF, 525 KB)
- PS 18-007: Low Rise Medium Density Design Guide for Development Applications (PDF, 162 KB)
- PS 18-005: New guidance for centre-based child care facilities (PDF, 289 KB)
- PS 18-002: Assessment of Local Infrastructure Contributions Plans by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) (PDF, 239 KB)
- PS 18-001: Stepping up planning and designing for better places: respecting and enhancing local character (PDF, 254 KB)
- PS 17-005: Conditions of consent for fibre-ready facilities and telecommunications infrastructure (PDF, 322 KB)
- PS 17-004: Regulating expansion of schools (PDF, 276 KB)
- PS 17-003: Amendment to provisions for concept (formerly ‘staged’) development applications (PDF, 219 KB)
- PS 17-001: Using the Apartment Design Guide (PDF, 443 KB)
- PS 15-005: Commencement of the NSW Planning Portal
- PS 15-002: Design quality of residential apartment development - SEPP 65 (PDF, 71 KB)
- PS 14-002: State Environmental Planning Policy (Three Ports) 2013 (PDF, 72 KB)
- PS 08-002 State Environmental Planning Policy (Rural Lands) 2008 Issued 9 May 2008 (PDF, 56 KB)
- PS 07-008 New section 117 directions Issued 17 July 2007 (PDF, 36 KB)
- PS 07-003 New guideline and changes to section 117 direction and EP&A Regulation on flood prone land – Issued 31 January 2007 (PDF, 123 KB)
- PS 06-001: Regulation of camping density in primitive camping grounds (PDF, 58 KB)
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.
- PN 22-002 Local environmental plan zone objectives (PDF, 183 KB) replaces LEP PN 09-005
- PN 22-001 Requesting that the Minister facilitate the preparation of a local environmental plan (PDF, 101 KB) replaces LEP PN 09-004
- PN 16–001 Classification and reclassification of public land through a local environmental plan (PDF, 95 KB) replaces LEP PN 09–003
- PN 11–003 Preparing LEPs using the Standard Instrument: Standard Definitions (PDF, 615 KB)
- PN 11–002 Preparing LEPs using the Standard Instrument: Standard Zones (PDF, 104 KB) replaces LEP PN 06–002
- PN 11–001 Preparing LEPs using the Standard Instrument: Standard Clauses (PDF, 136 KB) replaces LEP PN 06–001
- PN 10–001 Zoning for Infrastructure in LEPs (PDF, 292 KB)
- PN 09–006 Providing for tourism in Standard Instrument local environmental plans (PDF, 181 KB)
- PN 09–002 Environment Protection Zones (PDF, 95 KB)
- PN 09–001 Exempt and complying development (PDF, 43 KB)
- PN 08–001 Height and floor space ratio (PDF, 85 KB)
- PN 07–001 Standard instrument for LEPs – frequently asked questions (1) (PDF, 121 KB)
Contributions practice notes
- Section 7.12 fixed development consent levies (PDF, 240 KB)
- Local Infrastructure Contributions – review by IPart (PDF, 468 KB)
- Development Contributions – Introduction (PDF, 342 KB)
- Development Contributions Plans – Section 94 (now s7.11) (PDF, 926 KB)
Planning agreements practice note
- Council/department request for authority or agency feedback and advice template (DOTX/ZIP, 175 KB)
- Concise project plan template (DOCX, 65 KB)
- Cost management tool (XLSX, 41 KB)
- Dashboard reporting tool (DOCX, 64 KB)
- Letter template (DOTX/ZIP, 52 KB)
- Programming tool (MS Excel version) (XLSX, 37 KB)
- Programming tool (MS Project version) (MPP/ZIP, 374 KB)
- Project scoping tool (DOCX, 34 KB)
- Resource management tool (XLSX, 34 KB)
- Response to submissions – landscape (DOTX/ZIP, 170 KB)
- Response to submissions – portrait (DOTX/ZIP, 167 KB)
- Risk management tool (XLSX, 87 KB)
- Section 3.22 Environmental Planning and Assessment Act submission form (DOCX, 142 KB)
- Scoping proposal template (DOCX, 6.9 MB)
- Stakeholder management tool (XLSX, 42 KB)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The department provides regular and insightful information on demographics, forecasting and population change at Research and demography.