Planning proposal application
Amendments to Local Environmental Plans
The Dubbo Local Environmental Plan 2011 (Dubbo LEP) and the Wellington Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Wellington LEP) are legal documents which guide planning decisions in the Dubbo Regional Council Local Government Area. The LEPs include specific controls and provisions that regulate land use and development such as zoning, minimum subdivision lot sizing, development standards, land use permissibility and environmental heritage.
An LEP may be amended in order to introduce new planning provisions or policy and may comprise of changes to development standards, assessment requirements, land use permissibility or zoning. Most commonly, LEP amendments that are sought by landholders are centred on a request to rezone land in order to enable certain development.
An LEP amendment may be requested by a landowner, developer or other person (with the written consent of the landowner/s) through the lodgement of an application for a Planning Proposal with Council.
Process for Amending AN LEP
The Planning Proposal application process is regulated by the requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation, 2000 and the requirements of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
The broad steps involved in the planning proposal process are shown below.
Preparation of a Planning Proposal
The preparation of a planning proposal is the first step in seeking an amendment to the LEP. A planning proposal is a document that explains the intended effect of an amendment and provides the justification for seeking the change.
A planning proposal is required to contain enough information to demonstrate that the environmental, social, economic and other site or area-specific matters have been identified and if necessary any issues can be addressed with further information and consultation with the community and State Government Agencies.
Who can prepare a planning proposal?
A planning proposal can be prepared by any person (with the land owners consent), council or legal entity seeking to change the planning controls relating to a particular site, or by a third party on behalf of a landowner or council.
It is recommended that a proponent seeking an amendment to the Dubbo LEP 2011 or Wellington LEP 2012 arrange a pre-lodgement meeting with Council staff prior to preparing and lodging a planning proposal for assessment.
The pre-lodgement meeting will assist Council to understand the proposal and ensure that the planning proposal contains enough information necessary to justify the proposed change.
This is especially important where the matter is complex and where many factors are to be considered.
Components of a planning proposal
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 outlines that a planning proposal must include the following components:
- Part 1 – A statement of the objectives and intended outcomes of the proposed LEP
- Part 2 – An explanation of the provisions that are to be included in the proposed LEP
- Part 3 – The justification for those objectives, outcomes and the process for their LEP
- Part 4 – Maps, where relevant, to identify the intent of the planning proposal and the area to which it applies
- Part 5 – Details of the community consultation that is to be undertaken on the planning proposal
- Part 6 – The project timeline for completion of the proposal.
It is a Council and State Government requirement for all planning proposal applications to be prepared in accordance with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
Guide to preparing planning proposals
Guide to preparing local environmental plans
Consideration of a Planning Proposal
Following lodgement of the planning proposal, Council officers will undertake a preliminary assessment of the planning proposal to ensure that all necessary matters are adequately addressed and determine if any further information is required.
Council officers will then prepare a report on the planning proposal for consideration at a Council meeting where Council will resolve whether to support the planning proposal and forward it to the Department of Planning and Environment for a ‘Gateway Determination’.
Once the Planning Proposal is supported by Council, the planning proposal will be forwarded to the Department of Planning and Environment for determination by the Department’s gateway panel.
The Gateway Determination will identify if the Planning Proposal is supported in principle by the Minister of Planning and Environment and any conditions with respect to the following:
- Any further studies to be prepared prior to public exhibition
- Which government agencies to consult
- The length of the public exhibition period
- Whether a public hearing is required
- If Council has delegations to prepare the draft amendment
- The timeframe for completing the process.
Community and Government Agency Consultation
Once a Gateway Determination is received by Council, the Planning Proposal will be placed on public exhibition for the timeframe specified in the Gateway Determination. Council officers will undertake consultation with the community and government agencies as required by the Gateway Determination.
During the public exhibition period, the Planning Proposal and related documentation (such as technical and background information) must be made available to the public so that any interested person can make an informed opinion on the proposal. Submissions to the Planning Proposal will be invited during the public exhibition period for consideration.
Following completion of the public exhibition and consultation period, Council officers will undertake a review of the Planning Proposal and consider all matters raised in any public and State Government Agency submissions.
Council officers will prepare a report on the Planning Proposal for consideration at a meeting of Council. Council may resolve to vary the proposal as a consequence of a submission or report considered during public exhibition, or to not continue with the Planning Proposal.
Making of a new LEP
If Council resolves to support the Planning Proposal application, the planning proposal will be provided to the State Government for plan drafting and finalisation. The amendment will come into effect on the day it is published on the NSW Legislation website.
Department of Planning and Environment
Last Edited: 17 Feb 2021