NSW Department of Planning and Environment

A new approach to rezoning in NSW

The NSW Government is building a faster, simpler planning system to support jobs, homes and open space.

As part of the Planning Reform Action Plan, we are proposing to speed up the process for changing planning rules on a particular piece of land – known as rezoning.

The reforms include new ways to:

  • cut the time it takes to process a proposal to change planning rules by a third by 2023
  • establish an appeals pathway for planning proposals to overcome delays and progress rezonings that are consistent with strategic plans.

Where is the project up to?

We exhibited a discussion paper on a new approach to rezonings for feedback from 15 December 2021 until 28 February 2022. The proposals in the discussion paper simplify the system to cut timeframes and create investment certainty.

We are currently working through the issues and ideas raised by submitters to help us inform our final policy.

Why are we doing it?

Over time the rezoning process has become complex, leading to unnecessary delays and higher costs.

How are we doing it?

Our proposals:

  • simplify process and minimise duplication
  • create more certainty and consistency
  • improve transparency
  • improve the quality of proposals
  • reduce processing timeframes
  • empower councils to make decisions on matters important to their local communities
  • allow the NSW Government to deal with matters where government intervention is beneficial
  • recognise private proponents in the process and giving recourse opportunities.

We have worked closely with industry, council and Land and Environment Court users to develop a proposed new approach for rezoning and an appeal or review pathway on the final decision.

Our intention is for the new approach to start in 2022.

View the discussion paper

Watch a webinar introducing the new approach to rezonings.


How does the discussion paper link with the new Local Environmental Plan Making Guideline?

The NSW Government has announced a new Local Environmental Plan (LEP) Making Guideline (PDF, 7.1 MB) which includes guidance on new planning processes and timeframes.

While the Guideline aims to deliver immediate benefits, the feedback received over the last year has also identified an opportunity to build on these improvements and look at long term and system wide reform of the rezoning process.

The Discussion Paper: A New Approach to Rezonings has been drafted to canvass and seek feedback on a proposed new approach to LEP amendments.

How does the discussion paper link with the Minister's Statement of expectations?

The Environmental Planning and Assessment (Statement of Expectations) Order 2021 (Order) explains the former Minister’s expectations about the performance of councils, when dealing with three key planning and development areas:

  • development assessment
  • planning proposals (rezonings)
  • strategic planning obligations.

The Order aims to improve the performance of councils existing processes and relates to circumstances where a planning administrator or regional panel can be appointed. It is not directly related to the New Approach to Rezonings Discussion Paper which proposes longer term reforms for feedback.

Find out more about the new approach to rezonings

Visit the Planning Portal to view the exhibited documents and submissions.

More information

Email the policy team at planninglegislativereform@planning.nsw.gov.au.

Page last updated: 12/01/2023