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Northern Beaches Aboriginal Land

Six sites owned by the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC) in the Northern Beaches have been included in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Planning Systems) 2021.

The Northern Beaches Aboriginal Land Development Delivery Plan (DDP) has also been approved by the Minister for Planning. The DDP considers the high-level opportunities and constraints associated with future development of the 6 sites (PDF, 9.5 MB).

These decisions do not approve development on the sites. The release of these plans is the first step toward consideration of planning proposals or development applications, with further community consultation to be conducted.

These decisions allow planning proposals for the sites to be independently reviewed by the Sydney North Strategic Planning Panel.

The plans respond to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, which established Aboriginal land councils to manage land to provide an economic base for Aboriginal communities as compensation for historic dispossession and ongoing disadvantage.

The DDP will help Aboriginal people develop their land to support their community and protect Aboriginal cultural heritage. It will also provide new homes and jobs for the wider community.

The SEPP amendment and draft DDP were exhibited for public comment from 7 February to 21 March 2022.

In response to the exhibition, we received submissions on issues including bushland and environmental impact, traffic, infrastructure, open space, bushfire and Aboriginal heritage.

Find out how we responded to these issues by reading the Independent Planning Review and the department's Finalisation Report.

Specific feedback on individual sites will be addressed in further detailed studies for future planning proposals.

View the final documents on the NSW Planning Portal.

We will continue to work with the MLALC and consult with Northern Beaches Council on planning for the sites.

View the video of MLALC chief executive officer, Nathan Moran, talking about what the plans mean for Aboriginal people and the wider community.

Lizard Rock planning proposal

The department received a planning proposal for the Lizard Rock site, on Morgan Road, Belrose (the proposal) in October 2022. The proposal was submitted by GYDE Consulting on behalf of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC).

The proposal included detailed supporting studies. These studies respond to key issues raised by the local community during public exhibition of the Northern Beaches Aboriginal Land Development Delivery Plan (DDP).

The department prepared a report for independent review by the Sydney North Strategic Planning Panel (the panel). The report included comments received from Northern Beaches Council.

The panel determined on 21 December 2022, that the proposal should be submitted for a Gateway determination.

View the rezoning review report and decision.

View the Lizard Rock planning proposal

Next steps for Lizard Rock

In December, Northern Beaches Council was offered the opportunity to accept the planning proposal authority role, to prepare the planning proposal for Gateway determination by the department.

The council has declined the role. The panel will now appoint itself as the alternate planning proposal authority.

If the proposal proceeds, it will be publicly exhibited for a minimum of 28 days in 2023, giving the community and other stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback.

For more information on the Gateway determination process, go to Making and Amending LEPs.

Next steps for the remaining sites

The remaining 5 sites require further investigation. Future land uses could include residential, industrial, employment and environmental conservation. These sites could have planning proposals or DAs submitted in the next 2-5 years.

The DDP will be updated as the other sites are investigated to ensure any planning proposals are consistent with its objectives.

Read our frequently asked questions (PDF, 93 KB) to learn more.