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Planning enquiries

There are a number of ways you can find out what property attributes, zoning and dwelling entitlements apply to your land. 

General planning enquiries 

Look up your property on the NSW Government Planning Portal.  You can find information on land zoning, bushfire prone land, floor space ratio, building heights, minimum lot size and local and state planning legislation that applies to your property.

Speak to a Council Duty Planner/Surveyor for advice on what is permissible on your land and development proposal enquiries. Click on the link below for more information on our advice services.

Planning Certificates (S149)

A Section 149 Planning Certificate (or Zoning Certificate) is a legal document that confirms the zoning and relevant rules for development of your property.  Applicants generally purchase Section 149 certificates when considering the sale or purchase of a property. A planning certificate must be included in the sale contract.

While a planning certificate identifies all the relevant planning documents that apply to the property, it does not specify development standards or terms of the instruments. A planning certificate is not a development approval.

There are two types of Section 149 planning certificates available to purchase:

  • 149 (2) Certificate - Provides information about the zoning of the property, the relevant state, regional and local planning controls and other planning matters such as heritage, land contamination and road widening; and
  • 149 (2) and (5) Certificate - Provides additional advice regarding demolition, foreshore building lines, other heritage considerations and general advice.

Council does not recommend which Section 149 certificate an applicant should purchase. They are purchased for a wide variety of reasons and each applicant should seek their own legal or professional advice on what type of certificate should be purchased for their individual circumstances. Council recommends all applicants talk to their solicitor; conveyancer or certifier to decide which certificate suits their needs.

Dwelling entitlements on vacant land

Broadly this is dependent on the land use zone that applies to the property, and relevant provisions of environmental planning instruments such as the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the “Codes SEPP”), and the Port Macquarie-Hastings Local Environmental Plan 2011.

Where dwelling houses are permitted, there can be different procedures for approval, and different requirements for minimum lot sizes.  Other matters, including consideration of potential hazards, can be relevant.

In rural areas, there are minimum lot (or land holding) size requirements - usually 40 hectares or 100 hectares.  However, there is a concession available for smaller land holdings (“existing holdings”) which could have had a dwelling house erected when planning controls commenced in 1967.

To clarify whether a dwelling house can be erected on any particular land parcel it is recommended that you:

  • get some basic information by obtaining a Planning Certificate for that land parcel
  • contact Council’s planning staff to discuss the specifics for the property
  • apply for a development consent - a consent provides 5 years to act, even if there is a change in the planning controls.

This page was last updated on: 17 August 2016