The NSW planning system consists of a complex array of legislation, policy and public authorities. The system is subject to constant change and may be divided into two broad areas: land use planning; and development control. Land use planning sets strategic short and long term social, environmental and economic objectives for an area. This may be done by means of environmental planning instruments, strategic plans and subregional planning processes such as Planned Precincts. Development control is achieved through an assessment and approval process by the relevant planning authority in accordance with one of eight planning approval pathways. The planning system also regulates environmental impact assessment, public infrastructure planning and delivery, and building and subdivision certification.
This e-brief provides an overview of the NSW planning system as of 18 July 2019, including an appended glossary of common planning acronyms. It also outlines the objects of the system, the roles and responsibilities of key public authorities, and the avenues by which the community may participate in environmental planning and assessment.