Below we outline the planning process proposed for the total Northern Beaches Council.

We have concerns that in the development of the LEP through the Local Strategic Planning Statements that relevant Character Statements may not adequately maintain the true character requirements of the Pittwater community. Originally the State Planning Act following the council amalgamations (and following concerns raised by the forced amalgamated councils) allowed for an LSPS to be prepared for each of the five wards. Council did not elect to take up this opportunity and decided to only have one LSPS for the whole NBC.

We were advised that the NBC view was that it was not practical to put the Character Statements in the LSPS due to the vast number that maybe required and the limited size that was required/suggested under the legislation.

Following a meeting with NBC Planning executive on the 29th April we were advised that the NBC view was that the Character Statements should be an addendum to the LEP and in doing so this way would give greater legal status to the Character Statement giving them the same standing as the LEP itself.

Director of planning,Louise Kerr, said she thought that few developers would look at the LSPS anyway, so the LEP attachment/addendum was a better way to go.

NBC had requested an extension of time for completion of the LSPS.

In developing the LSPS NBC had to take into account the whole LGA, the District housing targets, the housing strategies (where and what was suitable for that location) and population targets. NBC had commissioned a number of expert studies in these areas which they were awaiting on.

For completion the LSPS had to go through a Gateway Process

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The planning system in 2019
The process
Regional and District plans for Sydney are created by the Greater Sydney Commission. See https://www.greater.sydney/metropolis-of-three-cities and https://www.greater.sydney/district-plans

Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS)
The LSPS is a new document required of all local councils by the NSW Government. Councils are required to exhibit their draft statement by 1 July 2019 and have their final version in place by 1 December 2019. “The LSPS should not simply repeat all the actions from a region/district plan, but present council’s priorities and give guidance to the LEP.” [NSW Dept of Planning] The LSPS will provide more certainty about councils’ future land use intentions. This will reduce the likelihood of a planning proposal that is inconsistent with an endorsed LSPS being supported by council or recommended for gateway determination. NBC has now released an online survey on its LSPS. https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/-/media/Files/DPE/Factsheets-and-faqs/faqs-local-strategic-planning-statements-2018-09.pdf?la=en

Local Environment Plan (LEP)
“Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) guide planning decisions for local government areas. They do this through zoning and development controls, which provide a framework for the way land can be used. LEPs are the main planning tool to shape the future of communities and also ensure local development is done appropriately.” [NSW Dept of Planning] Currently the Northern Beaches Local Government Area (LGA) has 3 LEPs – one each for Manly, Warringah & Pittwater. These 3 must be merged into one LEP. This process will have a critical effect on future planning & development decisions in Pittwater.

Development Control Plans (DCPs)
“While the rules set out in the LEP are most important, more detailed design and planning requirements are provided in DCPs. Here you will find information in simple language, with diagrams and pictures on issues including: Building design, siting and size; Access to sunlight; View sharing; Landscaping; Car parking; Heritage; Stormwater treatment; Waste management; & Fences and walls.
DCPs provide guidance only, which means there can be flexibility to make variations when supported by a good argument in a Development Applications (DAs).” [NSW Dept of Planning] Obviously any variation will need to take into account the LEP.
Integrating local character considerations in planning .

A Local Character Statement (LCS)

The LCS is an optional, standalone document that a council could produce comprising a description of an area’s existing character and detailing its desired future character. It is a place to describe a community’s preferences for how an area could change while retaining its unique character. These statements could be implemented through introducing a local character overlay and associated standard instrument clause within the LEP.” [NSW Dept of Planning, Local & Place Guideline] https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/-/media/Files/DPE/Guidelines/Local-character-and-place-guideline-2019-02-26.pdf “We expect Councils will work with us and prominently feature Local Character Statements in every new rezoning from now on. They’re going to become a critically important feature of planning that puts communities at the centre of everything we do.” [former Planning Minister Anthony Roberts]

At present NBC say it will put only a limited number of LCSs in the LSPS, due to space considerations. It is possible to create detailed LCSs in a separate document which can then be referred to in the LEP.

Assist the Planning Process by participating in the following NBC survey

Survey