Step 1 - Planning Proposal overview
Fairfield City Council (Council) is the local Principal Planning Authority (PPA).
The making and amending of Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) starts with a planning proposal. The planning proposal describes the outcome and justification for a proposed change to a LEP and is the key part of the LEP making process as set out under Division 3.4 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979. It is supported by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (the Department) Local Environmental Plan Making Guideline, December 2021.
Step 2 -The applicant and supporting information
A landowner, developer or an individual seeking to amend the zoning or development standards that apply to land they own or have an interest in may initiate a planning proposal. The applicant is responsible for supplying all the necessary information to justify the basis of the proposal. The information required to support the proposal is prepared by or on behalf of the landowner with the assistance of specialist consultants. As each planning proposal is different, the information and technical reports outlined will vary depending on the nature, scale and complexity of the proposal and characteristics of the land to which the planning proposal relates.
Step 3 -Scoping proposal
A Scoping Proposal is usually prepared before a planning proposal is formally submitted for assessment. After a Scoping Proposal is received and considered, Council planning staff will arrange a pre-lodgement meeting with the proponent and issue written advice including planning proposal requirements. The purpose of this advice is to confirm whether the proposal has strategic and site-specific merit to progress to a planning proposal and identify necessary supporting information required for assessment.
An Authority & Government Agency Prelodgement framework for when Council should engage with authorities and government agencies at the pre-lodgement stage guides what study and information may be needed to underpin a planning proposal. This type of early consultation is helpful to confirm relevant agency and authority expectations
Step 4 - Submitting a planning proposal
The Planning Proposal is submitted through the NSW Government’s Planning Portal for consideration and assessment. Council (in the majority of cases) is responsible for the preparation of a planning proposal, which explains the effect of, and justification for, the proposal. Once a proposal is submitted to Council via the NSW Planning Portal, Council staff consider the information provided.
A report is prepared for the consideration of Council’s Outcomes Committee which is made publicly accessible before the meeting. Applicants are invited to the Committee meeting to support their Planning Proposal if they wish. The Committee will determine if the proposal should be submitted to the Department for a Gateway determination (see Step 5).
Planning proposals are reviewed by the Department through the Gateway process and, if supported, may be publicly exhibited (see Step 6). The Gateway ensures effort is invested at appropriate stages of the process and that authority and government agency and community consultation is informed and effective.
After public exhibition is complete, the planning proposal is ultimately assessed by the local plan-making authority and determined (in most cases Council depending on the type of LEP amendment). If the planning proposal is supported, the LEP is then made and notified, at which time the changes become effective.
Non-mandatory benchmark timeframes for completion of planning proposals are set by the Department as follows:
- Basic Proposal - 46 weeks;
- Standard Proposal – 70 weeks; and
- Complex Proposal or principal LEP - 80 weeks
Step 5 - Gateway
If Council supports the Planning Proposal, it is sent to the NSW Government for review. This ‘Gateway’ process allows a Planning Proposal to be reviewed for a decision if it will proceed. A community consultation process is also determined at this time. The NSW Department of Planning and Environment website provides detailed information about the Planning Proposal and Gateway Process.
Step 6 - Community consultation
The proposal is publicly exhibited (generally low impact proposals for 14 days, all others for 28 days). Planning Certificates will provide information about the public exhibition as well as any proposed land use zone. A person making a submission may also request a public hearing be held. A further report is prepared for Council’s consideration at the conclusion of the exhibition period. All persons who have made a submission are invited to speak at the Outcomes Committee meeting.
Step 7 - Assessment
Council considers public submissions and a decision is made, with proposals varied as deemed necessary. Parliamentary Counsel then prepare a draft local environmental plan known as an amendment with its own identifying number — the legal instrument.
Step 8 - Finalisation
The Minister (or delegate) approves the plan and it becomes law, being published on the NSW legislation website.