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NSW Planning Legislation

NSW planning updates remain an issue for communities

Though the community action helped to stop the disastrous 2013 Planning Law changes, in 2013 we again saw Planning Law updates aimed at increasing development and density throughout Sydney. The latest updates can be seen on the Department of Planning information page Legislative Updates.


Submissions were made by FOKE covering a number of issues including those of our member briefing note 2017-NSW-Planning-Member-Memo This comes on top of the 2016 proposals to extend Medium Density housing into R2 Residential zones. A proposal that is the basis of the Greater Sydney Commission density plans. See FOKE’s media release on this topic, December 2016 LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL ZONES TO DISAPPEAR


Prior to the 2015 NSW State Election, the Better Planning Network and its 470 members took a proactive approach targeting candidates to commit to a planning process as outlined in A Community Charter for Good Planning in NSW.


The key principles on which the Charter is based are: a) The well-being of the whole community, the environment and future generations across regional, rural and urban NSW. b) Effective and genuine public participation in strategic planning and development decisions. c) An open, accessible, transparent and accountable, corruption-free planning system. d) The integration of land use planning with the provision of infrastructure and the conservation of our natural, built and cultural environment, and e) Objective, evidence-based assessment of strategic planning and development proposals.


This Community Charter has been prepared by a working group of community organisations from around the State over a number of months, in consultation with Better Planning Network, Community Councillors Network, Inner Sydney Regional Council for Social Development, National Parks Association of NSW, National Trust of Australia (NSW), Nature Conservation Council of NSW, NSW Heritage Network, Shelter NSW, Australia International Council of Monuments and Sites and The Total Environment Centre.


Already hundreds of individuals, organisations and politicians across NSW, have endorsed the Charter. Unfortunately to date, none from our NSW Liberal Government have signed the Charter.


Much of what we expected, and were promised, in respect of planning reform from a Coalition Government has not been acted on. 

In 2021, local government continues to offer little resistance, with their reduced power, to the push for population density and increased development.


The  Housing Strategy targets for Ku-ring-gai continue to alter the built and natural beauty of our areas.  See FOKE’s submission on the 2020 Ku-ring-gai Draft Housing Strategy