NSW Planning White Paper Released – A New Planning System For NSW

16/04/2013 8:20 am

The NSW Government released the White Paper - A New Planning System for NSW today for public exhibition. The White Paper sets out the details on how the new planning system will be implemented, and accompanying draft legislation. The Paper also responds to the questions and issues raised in submissions.

Under the new planning system the current zones will be consolidated into 13 zones and will allow broader types of development and use. Suburban Character Zones and Enterprise Zones will be included under the new system:

  • Suburban Character Zone: Will provide for Councils to nominate areas that it wishes to preserve and restrict development.
  • Enterprise Zone: Provides for flexibility in identified growth areas. The zone will have minimal controls.

Some of the other transforming elements of the new system include:

  • A Community Participation Charter which guarantees community participation in the planning process. Councils and communities will need to develop Community Participation Plans which are consistent with this Charter.
  • The planning system will move into the 21st Century with a ‘one-stop shop’ NSW Government electronic portal will enable people to comment on 3D interactive models of planning proposals and find all relevant planning controls in one place.
  • Comprehensive Growth Infrastructure Plans will be prepared alongside major planning changes – NSW is the first state or territory in Australia to take this approach.
  • Introduction of a far more rigorous approach to building standards.
  • The State’s development contribution system will be made more robust and accountable, with councils required to spend the money on local infrastructure within three years to ensure infrastructure is delivered when it is needed.
  • Additional funds will be made available for schools, regional roads, open space and stormwater/drainage – including in existing suburbs - through the new regional infrastructure contribution system. Costs will be more evenly shared by new developments in existing suburbs and in new land release areas.

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Brad Hazzard today released the Planning White Paper which outlines how the planning system will be transformed.

“Under the new system, communities and local councils will come together to plan for their streets, suburbs and regions whether it’s housing, jobs or infrastructure,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“This greater emphasis on upfront strategic planning will ensure homes are delivered affordably, people can work close to where they live and infrastructure is guaranteed to support growth.

“We are now seeking feedback before this draft legislation is debated in Parliament later this year."

In order to ensure the new statutory planning regime is easily understood, accessible and can be readily implemented, there will be two Bills to implement the legislative framework for the new planning system.

Both the White Paper and legislation are the next critical steps in the NSW Government’s process to implement a new planning system. During the consultation period, the government is seeking feedback on how we can improve and implement the framework and policies outlined in the White Paper.


Download a copy of the White Paper here. For alerts on the White Paper and more information please subscribe.