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 inter-related 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.