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Planning Proposals

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What is a Planning Proposal?

A Planning Proposal is document that explains the intended effect of a proposed local environmental plan (LEP) or an amendment to an LEP and sets out the justification for making that plan or amendment. The preparation of a Planning Proposal is the first step in preparing an LEP or an amendment to a LEP. 

A Planning Proposal can be prepared for a range of matters. It can request an amendment to the zoning of land, development standards applying to land (such as building height, floor space ratio or lot size), or to the permitted land uses, so that certain types of development can go ahead.

Council or a public authority can initiate a Planning Proposal based on a strategic direction or policy, or a landowner may request Council to consider the preparation of an amendment to the LEP.

Planning Proposals must be prepared in accordance with the Department’s A Guide to preparing planning proposals, A guide to preparing local environmental plans and Council’s adopted  Planning Proposal Policy198KB pdf(PDF, 198KB), which commenced on Wednesday, 5 February 2020

The Planning Proposal Policy builds upon the Department’s guides to establish Council’s process and the requirements for submission of Planning Proposal applications requesting an amendment to the Port Macquarie-Hastings LEP.

How are planning controls updated and reviewed?

The process for updating of planning controls is set out under the NSW planning legislation (Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979) and requirements from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (the Department). Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) start with the preparation of a Planning Proposal and in most cases this is done by the local Council. If Council supports a Planning Proposal request at a Council meeting, it is then referred to the Department. This is called the 'Gateway Process', and the five steps are:

  1. The Planning Proposal
  2. Gateway
  3. Community Consultation
  4. Assessment
  5. The Making of the LEP

Further details on the Gateway Process and Local Planning and Zoning can be found on the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment Website under ‘Local Planning and Zoning’.

How do I make an application to amend Council’s LEP?

Anyone who is considering lodging a Planning Proposal Application to request an amendment to the Port Macquarie-Hastings LEP 2011 or requiring further information regarding a rezoning matter, should firstly review the information on this web page, including Council’s adopted  Planning Proposal Policy198KB pdf(PDF, 198KB) and the Department’s guidelines.

Council’s Policy includes requirements for the consideration of applications and the circumstances in which they will be prioritised in the Land Use Planning Program (refer Section 3.6). This is so as to ensure that large scale strategic planning projects are prioritised for the benefit of the Port Macquarie-Hastings community.

A proposed amendment to the LEP must demonstrate strategic merit in terms of the Department’s guidelines and address the requirements of Council's Planning Proposal Policy.

Pre-lodgement Meetings

Council’s Planning Proposal Policy requires proponents to have a Pre-lodgement meeting with Council staff prior to preparing and lodging a Planning Proposal Application. Please refer to Council’s Pre-lodgement service for more information. A minimum of 10 working days’ notice is required.

Staff will be able to provide planning advice specific to the proposal, explain Council’s Policy, the Planning Proposal Application process and fees payable. 

What information needs to be submitted with a Planning Proposal Application?

The Department’s guides and Council’s  Planning Proposal Policy198KB pdf(PDF, 198KB), together with the  Planning Proposal Application Form559KB pdf(PDF, 559KB)) outline the information required to be submitted with an application. Additionally, the mandatory Pre-lodgement meeting may identify further information to be submitted with the application.

Planning Proposal applications will require external planning expertise on behalf of the Proponent. It is recommended that a town planning consultant be engaged for the preparation of a Planning Proposal, regardless of whether the proposal is of a minor or major nature. Other specialist consultants may also need to be engaged by the Proponent to provide technical studies or input to the proposal.

A Planning Proposal Application must be formally considered at a Council meeting. Council officers will prepare an assessment report on the strategic and site-specific merit of a proposal. Council does not have to support an application for the rezoning of land. Similarly, a Council resolution to prepare a Planning Proposal or an amendment to the LEP does not necessarily guarantee that a proposal or rezoning will proceed.


Fees are payable at the time of lodgement of a Planning Proposal Application. Please refer to Council’s Schedule of Fees and Charges for the current fees.

Confirmation should be made with Council’s Land Use Planning staff of the fees payable for an LEP amendment prior to lodging an application. 

Current Planning Proposals

A report is presented to Council every six months on the status of site-specific Planning Proposal requests in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area. The report can be viewed on Council's Ordinary and Sub-Committee Meetings business papers portal.

An online LEP tracking system is available for any person to follow the process of a Planning Proposal once it has been considered at a Council meeting and submitted to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Further information

For further information, please contact:

Land Use Planning Team
Development & Environment Division
Phone: 02 6581 8111
Email: council@pmhc.nsw.gov.au

Further information about the local planning and zoning processes can be obtained from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website


This page was last updated on: 29 January 2021