Changes Proposed by Planning Department – Bring Into Question The Point of a Standard Instrument

16/05/2012 1:19 am

The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure is seeking feedback on two proposed changes to the Standard Instrument local environmental plan which will:

  • Insert E5 Environmental Protection as a new environmental zone in the Standard Instrument; and
  • Remove the prohibition of subzones.

A draft policy statement and draft practice note are available for comment until Tuesday 29 May 2012.

The idea of bringing in subzones in to to the instrument, really bring into question the point of having a Standard Instrument. The prohibition will allow for greater flexibility of zones, which may lead to situations of multiple zones. For example instead of  a simple R4 zone, some Councils may have an R4.1, R4.2 , R4.3 and R4.4; each with different objectives, permissible and non-permissible uses and planning controls. This possibility has mixed consequences for developers. One the one-hand it allows for greater flexibility of re-development and rezonings, on the other it creates greater confusion in the system. Developers will no longer be able to be clear that  a R4 Residential zone in North Sydney is the same type of Residential zone in Sydney. A situation that the former Labor Government was trying to resolve when it implemented the Standard Instrument policy in the first place.

To find out more, go to or call the Department of Planning Information Centre on
(02) 9228 6333 or 1300 305 695.