Update December 2023 – Conservation Zone proposals scrapped

Read details here

Update from Council – read here March 2023.

SUBMISSIONS – Please read as these submissions sum up the issues and recommend a number of solutions

Pittwater Community Alliance (PCA)

Newport Residents Association (NRA)

Map of Pittwater Ward Proposed changes

Click on the above map and the proposed changes from a Conservation Zone to a R Zone are shaded in PINK. If you use the enlarge buttons you can look more closely at your area. If you are still unsure scroll down below for the link to search your own property.


UPDATE – Online Petition – following the public Forum held on Sunday 16th October 2022 a motion was passed to send NBC a petition – read here the content and we encourage you to sign it.

Online Petition

Pittwater Community Alliance (an alliance of 12 Pittwater community groups of which we NRA are a member) met with senior staff of NBC to discuss the Conservation Zones proposals earlier in October and the following is a record of the meeting with comments.

Record of meeting



This review of Conservation Zones (previously known as ‘E’nvironmental zones) is part of the ongoing drafting of a new Local Environment Plan and Development Control Plan for Northern Beaches Council after the merger of the three wards.  The LEP and DCP will govern planning for the whole area.

At the end of August you may have received a letter from council and if so it would have said councils records indicate that you may own land that falls into one of the following categories:

  • Currently in a conservation zone.
  • Proposed for inclusion in a conservation zone under council’s review.
  • Proposed for removal from a conservation zone under council’s review.
  • In the ‘deferred lands’ area under Warringah LEP 2000.


Under the proposals of this Conservation Zone discussion paper, Pittwater Ward will have a significant Loss of Conservation C4 Previously know as Environmental Living) properties which will most likely be rezoned to residential.  Council staff have advised that we will lose 3,613 properties currently in conservation zones. This would mean the loss of huge swathes of local conservation area obliterating green corridors of natural habitat backing onto reserves and bush areas but even with the gain of 1,328 properties from residential to a C zone it’s still of huge impact for Pittwater.

Experts who have reviewed the paper say it should be opposed as such a huge potential loss of conservation zones represents the most serious incursion into the existing Pittwater LEP/DCP rules. These guidelines have contributed to the protection of Pittwater’s character, landscape, and scenic quality to date.

What are conservation zones? Conservation zones are used in LEP’s for land ecological, scientific, cultural or aesthetic values or where land is constrained by hazards, for example, bushfire. Typically, what you can do in these zones may be more restrictive than in other zones to address the hazard constraints or values of the land. The majority of the old Pittwater council area was zoned Environmental ‘E’(now known as Conservation ‘C’).


Click to Search your property here

Click on the above link and put in your address and it will tell you your current zoning and if there is a proposal to rezone it. We suggest you also zoom out the map and it will show you if your neighbours are being rezoned as this may have an impact on your property or street. In fact you can zoom out to see all of Newport and the Peninsula to see where the proposed rezonings are located.

If you are concerned about the zoning of your property you can request a site inspection.

You can also have your say at this link

We understand this is a complicated issue, so please read the discussion paper, talk to your neighbours and your friends about it and have your say, however brief.   This is a crucial issue for us, and currently we only have to October 30, 2022 (extended to Friday December 2nd 2022) to work out how this will affect your area and your home.  There is no going back once we’ve lost our precious environment.  

For a good summary prepared by the Northern Beaches Council, have look at the  attached summary from a recent Webinar by clicking on this LINK

The conservation zones are;
• Zone C1 – National Parks and Nature Reserves
• Zone C2 – Environmental Conservation
• Zone C3 – Environmental Management
• Zone C4 – Environmental Living

(C4 is where most of Pittwater properties are zoned).

The Residential zones.

  • R1 Zoning NSW – General Residential
  • R2 Zoning NSW – Low-Density Residential
  • R3 Zoning NSW – Medium Density Residential
  • R4 Zoning NSW – High-Density Residential
  • R5 Zoning NSW – Large Lot Residential

R2 is currently the zoning for most properties not zoned C4 are and is the zoning we believe most of the properties proposed to be affected by zone changes will become.

In this regard the standout issue is the significant rezoning of C4 zoned lands to Residential that would trigger the application of the NSW Housing SEPP and prospect of more intense development including the construction of seniors housing developments in these areas. Under the current Housing SEPP Seniors Housing developments are not permissible in Conservation Zones. Additionally ‘Residential Zoned Lands are open to ‘Complying Development rules’ which means you do not get a say or even know about what might be happening next door.