Home 9 LEPs and the NSW Planning System

Hilltops LEP and the NSW Land Use Planning System

The Hilltops LEP will be one of a series of statutory planning documents that determine land use planning outcomes within Hilltops.  Some of these documents are developed and implemented by Council, while others are owned by the State.  The scope of each of these documents is established by the State and can alter over time subject to changes to State legislation, regulations, policy and guidance.  However, Hilltops Council will continue to work closely with the NSW government to ensure its local planning instruments, such as:

are complaint and consistent with the NSW Land Use Planning System.  Where any inconsistency arises, the State legislation, regulations, policy will prevail.

The following diagram summarises how these different documents relate to each other and their ownership.  However, it is recommended that you visit the NSW Planning Portal or www.planning.nsw.gov.au if seeking a more detailed break down of how land use planning tools operate within the NSW Land Use Planning System.

What the LEP CanDo

The scope and format of the Hilltops LEP is set by the Standard Instrument LEP, which is managed by the NSW government.  The LEP, including all associated mapping also requires full endorsement by the relevant State government Minister, confirming it is consistent with State government legislation, regulation and policy before it can take effect.<

In response, the Hilltops LEP relies on the use of the tools established under the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan such as Zones, Standard Clauses and Local Provisions to direct and inform development.  The scope of these tools are established in the Standard Instrument LEP to ensure they are used consistently across the state.  Local variations are accepted, subject to standard content remaining central to the document and gaining endorsement for any local variations from the State. 

In accordance with the Standard Instrument LEP, the scope of these instruments is set and is to be complied with by all LEPs in NSW. For example, the use of Zones in an LEP is limited to identifying its objectives, what land uses are permitted or not permitted and maps identifying where the zone applies. The Zone and land use definitions are established in the Standard Instrument LEP and cannot be varied.

It is to be noted that the State does release at various times new State Environmental Planning Policies and Ministerial Directions intended to supersede LEP content.  This includes changes to permissible and not permissible development which may be inconsistent with those listed in the LEP Zone Land Use Tables. They may also impact on local clauses. These changes take effect upon their release and may result in inconsistencies between an LEP and State planning requirements until the next review or revision of the LEP. When this occurs, the State instruments prevail.

What the LEP Can’t Do

In accordance with the Standard Instrument LEP and further guidance from the State, the LEP cannot set local standards and development requirements relating to common land use planning measures such as landscaping, car parking, access, servicing, building heights and setbacks.  In addition, the LEP is not intended to set controls in relation to noise or air quality, or development sequencing and infrastructure contributions.  Other land use, building, environmental health and infrastructure planning tools are intended to provide direction on these matters.

For further information on the scope and roles of a LEP please see https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Plans-for-your-area/Local-Planning-and-Zoning

Local Planning Instruments (other than the LEP)

Hilltops 2040 – Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS)

Hilltops 2040 – Hilltops Local Strategic Planning Statement is the endorsed strategic land use plan for the Hilltops area. It was developed in accordance with the directions of the State to establish a Local Strategic Planning Statement to inform future planning decisions in the short, medium and long term.

All other local planning instruments are intended to further the objectives of Hilltops 2040.  This includes the Draft Hilltops LEP and proposed review of Hilltops DCPs and Infrastructure Charges Plans.

Hilltops 2040 sets the position of Hilltops within the region and New South Wales and our needs and expectations from State and Commonwealth governments to see Hilltops communities successful, productive and continuing to be great places to live in well into the future.   It also provides the strategic direction required to inform local land use and infrastructure planning and management, providing local outcomes that reflect and respond to the various landscapes and communities across the council area.

For further information on the scope and roles of an LSPS please see NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment Website – Part 3 Strategic Planning.

Hilltops Development Control Plans (DCP’s) – Currently the Young and Boorowa DCP’s

A Development Control Plan provides detailed planning and design guidelines to support the planning controls in the Local Environmental Plan and the objectives of the LSPS (Hilltops 2040).  This includes further planning and design guidance in relation to landscaping, car parking, access, servicing, building heights and setbacks.

Hilltops currently has two DCPs in place. One covering the area of the former Young Shire – Young Development Control Plan 2011, the other the former Boorowa Shire – Boorowa Development Control Plan 2013. There is currently no Development Control Plan in place for the Former Harden Shire.

Council is proposing to review the current DCP’s with the aim of producing one DCP for the whole of Hilltops which aligns with the proposed Hilltops LEP and the objectives of Hilltops 2040.  Work will proceed on the development of a new Hilltops DCP upon completion of the Hilltops LEP.

It is to be noted that despite the name, the DCP is intended to be a guidance document, providing further advice on what information is required and the preferred and acceptable solutions to achieve planning objectives.

For further information on the scope and roles of a DCP please see NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environments Website Part 4 – Development controls and approvals.

Hilltops Infrastructure Contributions Plans (ICP’s) – Currently the Young, Harden and Boorowa ICP’s

Local Development Contributions are permissible under Division 7.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and enables consent authorities including local governments to levy contributions for public amenities and services required as a consequence of development.

Historically, these plans were known as Section 94 or Section 94A Plans but are now referred to as Section 7.11 Developer Contributions under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Hilltops Council currently has the following Contributions Plans:

Section 94 Plans  (Section 7.11 Plans)

Harden Section 94 Plan 2011

Young Section 94 Developer Contributions Plan 2016

Section 94a Plans (Section 7.12 Plans)
Boorowa Section 94A Development Contributions Plan 2014

Harden Section 94A Developer Contributions Plan 2011

Young Section 94A Developer Contributions Plan 2016

Council is proposing to review the current ICP’s with the aim of producing a consistent set of ICPs for the whole of Hilltops which aligns with the proposed Hilltops LEP and the objectives of Hilltops 2040.  Work will proceed on the development of new Hilltops ICP following the completion of the Hilltops LEP.

For further information on the scope and roles of ICP’s and Development Contributions please see https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/local-infrastructure-contributions-policy