Working with councils to deliver quality outcomes for communities

Stakeholder group in meeting
05 Jul 2019
News | The Commission’s five District Plans are currently being implemented by Greater Sydney’s 33 councils. The timeframes for completion of this work are ambitious with 18 accelerated councils set to update Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) by mid-2020 and the remaining councils by mid-2021.

At present, the focus of councils is the development of a Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) which sets out the 20-year vision for a local government area, demonstrates how change will be managed and identifies local priorities for updating council LEPs. Further information on the role and content of LSPSs is on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website.

The Commission has developed a new assurance program to create a truly integrated planning system in Greater Sydney that ensures the work of the councils is aligned with the District Plans. The assurance program is driven by a collaborative approach to support councils in the preparation of draft LSPSs and has included an ‘Assurance Expo’ which brought together councils with relevant State Government agencies to discuss LSPS inputs together with the coordination of land use and infrastructure. This was followed up with ‘Health checks’ where each council’s planning team discussed their LSPS progress and place specific matters with the Commission and relevant State government agencies.

Since commencing the assurance program, the Commission has established clear expectations for LSPSs including the importance of an overall structure plan for each local government area, the need to align housing strategies with land use planning and infrastructure as well as managing industrial lands consistent with the Greater Sydney Region Plan and the relevant District Plan.

An important part of the Commission’s assurance program has been ensuring consistent interpretation of the Region and District Plans. Clarification has also been provided to councils that the thought leadership paper, A Metropolis that Works is intended to invite discussion about some of the key aspects of the policy on industrial and urban services land – rather than propose any new policy or regulation or be used to determine development outcomes.

The table below shows what’s been achieved so far and outlines the next steps, including where stakeholders and the community can have their say on the local strategic plans.


To help shape the LSPSs, it will be critical for councils to hear a range of voices during the exhibition period, including the community, industry and landowners. Contact your local council to find out more and keep an eye on the Commission’s website where we are developing an LSPS tracker with information about the LEP updates. For more information, please contact

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