Successful implementation of the district plans requires:
- councils to prepare and implement local strategic planning statements as part of their strategic planning framework
- councils to update local environmental plans through the development of their local strategic planning statements and other relevant plans and policies
- collaboration across government and with local government and the private sector where each have clear roles and responsibilities (refer to Figure 27)
- private sector investment in line with the expectations and targets for housing, and jobs including commercial, retail and industrial developments
- infrastructure delivery which is responsive to the District Plan's priorities and growth patterns across each District
- ongoing engagement to inform implementation
- annual monitoring of the performance of the District Plan and the status of delivering actions.
Role of district and local plans
Region and district plans inform the preparation and endorsement of local strategic planning statements and the preparation and assessment of planning proposals. Councils are to complete the update of their local environmental plan within three years of the district plans being finalised. This involves councils:
- reviewing their strategic planning framework, including a review of the existing local environmental plans against the relevant District Plan
- undertaking necessary studies and strategies and preparing a local strategic planning statement which will guide the update of the local environmental plans.
To accelerate the local planning process, the Housing Affordability Package announced by the NSW Government in June 2017 requires the Greater Sydney Commission, as part of a suite of policy measures, to nominate 10 Priority Councils in Greater Sydney, which will each receive up to $2.5 million to assist with updating their local environmental plans to give effect to the district plans, within two years of the Commission releasing final district plans.
Figure 27: Roles of planning authorities in Greater Sydney
The role of the local strategic planning statement is to provide an alignment between regional and district strategic plans and local strategic planning and delivery. To assist the alignment of regional - district and local planning, protocols are required that formalise cooperation between State and local governments in that many of the opportunities and challenges in local planning are interrelated with government programs, particularly infrastructure investment.
Therefore a level of consistency in strategic planning approaches is needed to provide:
- alignment in interpretation of the region and district plans that supports the development of local strategic planning statements
- coordinated inputs by State agencies, particularly where State agency programs cross council and district boundaries - such as investment in major rail corridors, or the need for a new high school
- the ongoing review of the region and district plans that is informed by local inputs.
The first step towards this is developing, in consultation with councils, a level of consistency in the approach to the council review of their local environmental plans.
Local planning is also informed by councils' community strategic plans. These community focused plans provide the strategic framework for the planning and delivery of services over a 10-year period for each local government area and are part of the broader Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework under the Local Government Act 1993. These plans can provide an important source of economic, social and environmental context for local strategic planning as well as a greater context to councils' delivery programs and operational plans. The community engagement strategy that supports the preparation of a community strategic plan may also inform a council's community participation plan.
As such a council, in the review of their local environmental plan can provide local economic, social and environmental context that will help identify the priorities for investigation needed to inform the local strategic planning statement.
In undertaking strategic planning processes, and/ or preparing or considering planning proposals, planning authorities must give effect to the District Plan, specifically the Planning Priorities and Actions. This also includes, as set out in the NSW Department of Planning and Environment's A guide to preparing planning proposals, consistency with other plans and policies that form part of the strategic planning framework for Greater Sydney, such as:
- State environmental planning policies - the NSW Department of Planning and Environment is currently reviewing state environmental planning policies as part of initiatives to simplify the NSW planning system and reduce complexity. This review process will modernise, simplify and improve the effectiveness and usability of the policies.
- Ministerial Directions under Section 9.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, which require consideration for local plan making that cover issues such as employment, environment and heritage, housing, infrastructure and urban development.
Information Note 6 outlines the status of the district plans in regard to planning matters.