General Notice

Public Consultation on the Draft Hilltops LEP 2021 has closed as of Monday 26 April 2021. The LEP consultation website has been archived, however you can continue to read this page for a summary of the materials exhibited during the consultation period. You can also view the Hilltops LEP Planning Proposal documents and the Online Map Viewer with spatial information relating to your property. These links and documents are available at the bottom of this page. 

You may also refer to Council’s main website for further information about:

If you would like to be informed about progress on the Hilltops LEP Planning Proposal, you can register your email address to the LEP Mailing List here [BLAH]. 

Public Consultation

The Draft Hilltops LEP 2021 Planning Proposal public consultation period ran from Monday 15 March to Monday 26 April 2021, a total of 43 days – 15 days longer than required by the NSW Government.

The public consultation period is now closed and Council is reviewing submissions to inform changes to the finalised Hilltops LEP.

Council sent a total of 14,774 letters to Hilltops ratepayers with information about the Draft Hilltops LEP as part of a strategy to engage as broadly as possible. This included, among other activities, 8 open drop-in sessions in each major town, the creation of a dedicated LEP Consultation Website with comprehensive information about the LEP, and fielding hundreds of enquiries. The dedicated consultation website received more than 11,000 views over the consultation period and included an online, interactive map with searchable property information so landowners could view spatial information affecting their property, as well as a ‘Document Library’. You can view the Online Map Viewer here.

The Consultation Website has been archived as of [DATE], however you can still find an overview of the Draft Hilltops LEP on this page, as well as the Draft LEP Planning Proposal documents and Online Map Viewer. [INSERT LINKS]

Next Steps

The finalised Consultation Report will be presented to Hilltops Councillors at the June 2021 Ordinary Meeting. This Report, if endorsed, will be available for download to the public by the end of June 2021. Please scroll to the bottom of this page to view publicly accessible documents and links.

Following the review of submissions, workshops with Hilltops Councillors, conferences with NSW Government Authorities, and internal consultation and review, the finalised Hilltops LEP Planning Proposal is expected to be presented to Hilltops Councillors for endorsement in the July Ordinary Meeting.

If endorsed, the Hilltops LEP 2021 Planning Proposal will then proceed to the NSW Parliamentary Counsel for legal review and gazettal. This process is expected to take three months from the time the Parliamentary Counsel recieves the final, endorsed Hilltops LEP 2021 Planning Proposal. Subject to the Parliamentary Counsel’s processing time, the new consolidated Hilltops LEP is expected to become law by September or October 2021.

Following the completion and gazettal of the Hilltops LEP 2021 Planning Proposal Project, a consolidated Development Control Plan – commonly referred to as a DCP – will be prepared and consulted on. This complements the LEP and provides more detailed planning controls for an area. An ICP – Infrastructure Contributions Plan – will also be developed to help pay for infrastructure for development. 

The rest of this page provides an overview of the Consolidated Hilltops LEP 2021 Planning Proposal.


Hilltops LEP 2021 Planning Proposal – Overview

Why is Hilltops developing a new Local Environmental Plan?

Up to this point, Hilltops Council has been operating using the LEPs it inherited from the former Boorowa, Harden and Young Shires.

Hilltops Council has prepared a consolidated LEP known as the Hilltops LEP 2021 to replace these and set unified, consistent planning controls across the whole Hilltops Shire. All three existing LEPs inherited from the former Shires were due for review and required amendments to reflect up-to-date local and State planning regulations and policies. 

The consolidated Hilltops LEP takes the first step in implementing the Hilltops 2040 Local Strategic Planning Statement strategic vision that was put on exhibition and endorsed by Hilltops Councillors in mid-2020. This document embodies both the regional strategic directions laid out by NSW Government in the South East and Tablelands Regional Plan 2036 as well as locally derived strategic objectives. 

Hilltops Council is among the first of NSW’s new councils created through amalgamation in 2016 to prepare a new LEP. 

Note this LEP is not able to resolve all inconsistencies between the former Shires’ LEPs for reasons beyond Council’s control. This is most notable regarding minimum lot size controls for a dwelling in RU1 Primary Production zones – the predominant land use zone across Hilltops, constituting most agricultural and rural areas.

Council will consult on and resolve this issue once the NSW Government has finalised its Important Agricultural Land Mapping Project.

Council is unable to provide a local solution while the NSW Government is itself in limbo on this issue.

What is a Local Environmental Plan?

A Local Environmental Plan – commonly referred to as an LEP – is the principal planning document affecting land use in each NSW Local Government Area. Each Council is required to have one. It determines land zoning, permissible land uses in each zone, and other development standards and controls across all land within Hilltops Council. This includes: 

  • Zoning, 
  • Subdivision of land including minimum lot sizes for a dwelling, 
  • Urban release areas, 
  • Heritage conservation, 
  • Biodiversity conservation, and
  • Essential services provision. 

LEP Maps

An LEP comprises written legislation accompanied by a set of maps. These should be viewed together to provide an understanding of zoning and building controls across an area or for a particular property. The Draft Hilltops LEP 2021 includes the following maps: 

  • Land Application Map
  • Land Zoning Map
  • Lot Size Map
  • Land Reservation Acquisition Map
  • Heritage Map
  • Urban Release Areas Map
  • Terrestrial Biodiversity Map
  • Riparian Land and Watercourses Map
  • Groundwater Vulnerability Map
  • Drinking Water Catchment Map
  • Salinity Map
  • Highly Erodible Soils Map
  • Environmentally Sensitive Land Map

LEP Structure

All LEPs in NSW are required to comply with a set structure and certain set controls as laid out in the NSW Standard Instrument LEP. The aim is that each local council uses the same template so that it is easier to navigate planning controls across NSW.

The Draft Hilltops LEP 2021 contains the following Parts and Schedules: 

  • Part 1 Preliminary
  • Part 2 Permitted or prohibited development
  • Part 3 Exempt and complying development
  • Part 4 Principal development standards
  • Part 5 Miscellaneous provisions
  • Part 6 Urban release areas
  • Part 7 Additional local provisions
  • Schedule 1 Additional permitted uses
  • Schedule 2 Exempt development
  • Schedule 3 Complying development
  • Schedule 4 Classification and reclassification of public land
  • Schedule 5 Environmental heritage
  • Schedule 6 Pond-based and tank-ased aquaculture


Find Out More

Refer to the following resources for more information about the Hilltops LEP 2021 Planning Proposal.


Refer to the dedicated Document Library page which lists all relevant documents, including:

  • Strategic Context Documents
  • Background Documents
  • Planning Proposal
  • Land Use Matrices
  • Council Reports and Resolutions

Reference – Planning Proposal Documents and their Relationship to the Draft Hilltops LEP

LEP Part or Schedule Planning Proposal Document
Part 1 Preliminary

Attachment A – Hilltops LEP Clause Explainer

Attachment B – Aims of the Plan

Part 1 Preliminary

Strategic Context

South East and Tablelands Regional Plan 2036

Hilltops 2040 Local Strategic Planning Statement

NSW Standard Instrument LEP

Planning Proposal Documents


Online Map Viewer


Land Use Matrices