Strategic Land Use Planning

Planning for the Sydney Region

In November 2016, the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) released Towards our Greater Sydney 2056  a long term (40-year) plan for Sydney which updates the NSW Government’s 2014 metropolitan plan, A Plan for Growing Sydney. The GSC also placed on exhibition draft District Plans for the six districts in the Sydney Region. 

LGNSW’s submission (March 2017) on the draft district plans contains 28 recommendations relevant to local government across all districts, and does not comment on the content of individual draft district plans. LGNSW has urged the GSC to consult with local government during 2017 on the revised version of A Plan for Growing Sydney.

Greater Sydney Commission

The Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) was established in January 2016 to deliver A Plan for Growing Sydney, the current Metropolitan Plan for Sydney. Its planning functions also include:

  • Finalising the district plans for each of Sydney’s six districts
  • Ensuring that councils’ Local Environmental Plans comply with the District Plans
  • Taking on the current assessment and plan making functions of the Sydney Planning Panels (the previous Joint Regional Planning Panels for Sydney) including planning proposals (re-zoning applications). 

See the GSC website for information about the Chair and membership of the Commission.

LGNSW Policy Position

LGNSW advocates that the NSW Government ensures the GSC:  

  • Sets up a collaborative and workable partnership arrangement between state and local government
  • Demonstrates the capacity to deliver necessary state and local infrastructure at a local level in a timely manner to support growth
  • Incorporates the views of councils and the rights of communities to have a say in key land use decisions for their areas to avoid a top-down approach to district plan making. 

LGNSW made a (submission PDF, 839KB) to the NSW Government on the above issues prior to the establishment of the GSC.

NSW Regional Plans

Outside of Sydney, the NSW Department of Environment and Planning is developing regional plans to plan for the future needs of regional populations in terms housing, jobs, infrastructure and the environment. The regions outside of Sydney are home to 40 percent of the state’s population and will grow to just over 3 million people in 2016, according to the Minister for Planning The Hon Rob Stokes. The regional plans are in various stages of development, and by the end of 2016 the Government intends to have released regional plans which cover the whole of NSW.

Some of these regional plans will replace current strategies and plans in some regions, such as the current Strategic Regional Land Use Plans for the Upper Hunter and New England North West. These plans were developed by the NSW Government in 2012 in response to land use and mining conflicts. LGNSW made submissions to these plans and to the related changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy SEPP) on Mining, and these can be found in our submissions list on our land use planning page.

Metropolitan Strategy

The NSW Government released the Draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney to 2031 in March 2013. This followed the release in mid-2012, of the Discussion Paper - “Sydney Over the Next 20 Years”. The new strategy is intended to update the current Metropolitan Plan for Sydney and link it to the government’s other long-term plans – the Long Term Transport Master Plan and the State Infrastructure Strategy. Submissions on the Draft Strategy closed in June 2013. LGNSW has made a Submission on the Draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney to 2031 (PDF, 534KB).

Community Engagement Practice

Local Government NSW has undertaken research on current community engagement practices of councils in relation to land use planning. The research reveals that councils are developing more proactive, professional engagement strategies that are involving communities much earlier in the plan making process than in past years. Twenty councils were involved in this research and the report is called Involving Locals in Local Plan Making, December 2014 (PDF, 510KB).