Planning for the future of the Central Coast
On 23 November 2016 Council resolved to prepare a Planning Proposal to consolidate the provisions of the Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) operating across the Central Coast Local Government Area (LGA). Council also resolved to prepare a consolidated Development Control Plan (DCP) to harmonise planning controls.
Public Exhibition and Community Engagement
To develop consolidated LEP and DCPs, Council undertook extensive consultation over a four year period (between 2016 and 2020) with the community and stakeholders including agencies and Councillors.
Over 750 public submissions were received during the public exhibition period (6 December 2018 to 28 February 2019) with approximately 350 community members attending face-to-face engagement sessions. All community submissions and feedback were considered alongside Councillor and agency responses with appropriate amendments applied.
The Central Coast Local Environmental Plan (CCLEP) and Central Coast Development Control Plan (CCDCP) were adopted by Council on 14 December 2020.
The CCLEP and CCDCP will come into force when notified on the NSW Legislation website.
In the interim, the provisions of existing planning controls still apply, though the adopted CCLEP is a consideration when preparing and assessing development applications. The relevant information for consideration is available through the links found on this page.
When effective, the Central Coast Local Government Area (LGA) will have a single Development Control Plan (DCP) that applies to the entirety of the LGA, and a Local Environmental Plan (LEP) that applies to approximately 95% of the LGA. The Gosford Planning Scheme Ordinance (GPSO) and Interim Development Orders (IDO) 122 will still apply to those areas deferred from the CCLEP. The amount of land deferred from CCLEP was further reduced 9 March 2021 by Council resolving to adding the Council owned deferred land to CCLEP. The majority of this land is Coastal Open Space System (COSS) land and will now be better protected than it currently is by the application of the E2 Environmental Conservation Zone.
The CCLEP and CCDCP removes complexities of multiple plans and simplifies planning for residents and the development industry and provides the foundation for the next stage of the Comprehensive LEP/DCP Review.
Next Steps & Timeframes
CCLEP and CCDCP Finalisation and Implementation
In order to finalise the CCLEP and CCDCP, a final version of the Planning Proposal, incorporating the amendments as resolved by Council on 14 December 2020, must be submitted to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) for implementation and drafting of the legal instrument. This was completed in July 2021. Since this time, DPIE has been drafting the legal instrument and liaising with Council to resolve any outstanding issues.
Council has also been working with DPIE to finalise the digital mapping project. The digital mapping project will result in an online mapping platform for the display and interrogation of the CCLEP mapping data (including land use zones, building height etc).
It is anticipated that these processes will be completed, and the new CCLEP and CCDCP will come into force, in early-2022.
Comprehensive LEP Project
The Comprehensive LEP Project is the next step in the delivery of a fully harmonised planning framework for the Central Coast LGA.
This requires undertaking investigative studies and development of strategies in relation to specific matters such as rural lands, employment lands etc. The information provided from these strategies will be rolled out in a series of phased LEP/DCP amendments as part of the Comprehensive LEP/DCP in the coming years.
The priority project in the delivery of the Comprehensive LEP is the rezoning of the deferred lands (i.e. lands that will remain zoned under IDO 122, or the GPSO even when the CCLEP comes into effect).
At the Council’s meeting of 14 December 2020, it was resolved that “an Environmental Lands Review and Planning Proposal to review the Deferred Matters under Gosford Local Environmental Plan 2014 (GLEP 2014) be commenced and that this project be given a high priority on the Strategic Planning Unit’s work program” . At Council's meeting of 27 April 2021, it was resolved to prepare a Planning Proposal for CCLEP Deferred Matters Lands. Council staff are currently preparing to seek approval from DPIE to progress this Planning Proposal. This approval known as a Gateway Determination will identify studies and consultation to be undertaken. At this stage it is likely that public consultation will occur in early 2022.
Work on an Employment Land Strategy and Housing Strategy have also commenced.
Amendments as resolved by Council
Draft Central Coast Local Environmental Plan 2018
Draft Central Coast Development Control Plan 2018 (Part 1)
Draft Central Coast Development Control Plan 2018 (Part 2)
Draft Central Coast Development Control Plan 2018 (Part 3)
Draft Central Coast Development Control Plan 2018 (Part 4)
Draft Central Coast Development Control Plan 2018 (Part 5)
Additional Information Requested by Councillors
27 April 5.6 Request to Prepare a Planning Proposal for Central Coast Local Environmental Plan Deferred Matters Lands .
9 March 2021 Report ( Item 4.2)
14 December 2020 Council Report (Item 4.1)
14 December 2020 Council Minutes (Item 4.1, pg 2)
9 March 2020 Council Minutes (refer to item 2.1 pg 6)
9 December 2019 Council Minutes (refer to item 3.6 pg 15)
Agency and Public Submissions Summary - 9 December 2019 (Attachments 1 & 2 - pg 188 - 260)
The Environmental and Urban Edge Zone Review
Frequently asked questions
Can I lodge a development application under the CCLEP?
While the CCLEP is a consideration for development applications, the CCLEP is not yet in effect. As such applications cannot be accepted for development under the CCLEP. Links to the relevant considerations can be found on this page.
Development Applications will be subject to the CCLEP and CCDCP once the CCLEP has been published on the NSW Legislation Website (potentially mid to late 2021).
In the meantime, current planning provisions remain in place i.e. Wyong Local Environmental Plan 2013 (WLEP 2013), Gosford Local Environmental Plan 2014 (GLEP 2014), Interim Development Order 122 (IDO 122), Interim Development Order 146 (IDO 146), Gosford Planning Scheme Ordinance (GPSO), Wyong Development Control Plan 2013 (WDCP 2013) and Gosford Development Control Plan 2013, (GDCP 2013).
Why is a Consolidated LEP and DCP so important and significant for the region?
The draft Central Coast LEP and DCP (draft CCLEP and LEP) also known as the ‘Consolidated LEP and DCP’ is a priority project to strengthen the merger of the former Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils, since becoming the Central Coast Council in May 2016.
Most of the proposed changes are not major, the project is focussed on the consolidation and alignment of existing LEP/DCP controls. The project is the first step in producing a Comprehensive LEP and DCP for the Central Coast, which will require further strategy and evidence-based work to be conducted over the next four years. The Consolidated LEP and DCP provides the foundation for the next phase of strategic planning work to be undertaken.
What does this mean for the community?
Having a consolidated LEP and DCP will mean that almost 95% of the Central Coast Local Government Area (LGA) will be subject to the same planning instrument. The remaining 5% of the LGA will remain as deferred lands under the CCLEP and be subject to existing planning instruments (i.e. IDO 122 and the GPSO).
This will mean that development will be assessed against a single LEP and DCP. This will help to simplify the development process for applicants.
It will also mean that our planning assessment and support staff can further streamline processes to promote greater efficiency for assessment of development applications.
What is happening with the deferred lands?
In response to public submissions and Councillor input, privately owned lands identified as ‘Deferred Matters’ under GLEP 2014 will remain deferred under the CCLEP.
Investigation and ground truthing of sites identified through submissions revealed that the removal of split zones, over smoothing of zone boundary lines during the mapping process and significant differences in the framework and criteria applied under the Environmental and Urban Edge Zone Review (EUEZR), in comparison to the WLEP 2013 and GLEP 2014, has resulted in some instances where the proposed zoning outcome is not suitable.
A review of the Central Coast Environmental Lands is being undertaken as a priority project for the comprehensive LEP.
This project will bring the deferred matters land into the Standard Instrument (SI) LEP format and phase out historic planning instruments. It is required to ensure a consistent approach to the zoning and management of environmentally sensitive land across the entire LGA.
Are there key changes to planning controls in the north or the south following the consolidation of the LEP/DCP?
The draft CCLEP is a combination of the most appropriate provisions from the WLEP 2013 and GLEP 2014. Where similar provisions exist, they have been retained. Where provisions are not similar, the most suitable provision has been proposed for retention.
Site specific provisions and additional permitted uses have also been retained. In terms of the LEP, the primary changes relate to the land use permissibility tables within each zone. Notable changes include the removal of the small lot housing provision within the R2 Low Density Zone which operated in the former Wyong LGA and the addition of dual occupancy development as a permissible land use with Council approval in the R2 Low Density Residential Zone in the former Gosford LGA.
Changes to the DCP controls are not substantial with local provisions such as those relating to major centres being retained.
The existing character statements for the former Gosford LGA will be retained as a consideration under CCDCP.
Are we going to see overdevelopment now and an explosion of dual occupancy?
The draft CCLEP/DCP does not provide a green light for automatic development across the region. Development applications will need to comply with all requirements relating to issues such as minimum lot size, site slope and appropriate access. Under State Government policy secondary dwellings (granny flats) are already permissible in the R2 Low Density Residential zone and dual occupancy development will provide for the potential for a higher quality of additional development in the R2 Low Density Residential zone including ensuring that adequate off-street parking is available.
Was the draft CCLEP and CCDCP rushed forward for adoption whilst under Administration to avoid further objections by Councillors?
This process has been underway for four years and has always been a priority project since the amalgamation due to its importance for the region. As part of the consolidation process extensive consultation has been undertaken with all stakeholders, including Councillors. Consideration of the LEP and DCP had previously been deferred by Council on two occasions which required further consultation and workshops with Councillors which were conducted this year. Feedback and submissions raised were considered and resulted in several amendments to the final draft.
It was always the intention that this item be referred back to Council by the end of 2020 before the expiry of the Gateway Determination in February 2021.
What is the status with the Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS)?
The Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) was adopted by Council on 29 June 2020. At the time of adoption this document was noted as an ‘Interim’ LSPS.
The statement focuses on the vision and planning priorities for land use planning in the region over the next 20 years and is It is a living document that will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. The LSPS is being used to help inform the next stage of developing a Comprehensive LEP and DCP.
The LSPS explains how state and regional plans such as the Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 will be implemented in the Central Coast region.
Together with Council’s Community Strategic Plan (CSP) the document will identify the long-term social, environmental and economic aspirations of the community and provide a clear direction for growth that will inform future strategic plans and planning instruments.
The Central Coast LSPS is available on the NSW Planning Portal.
What is the difference between the LEP that has now been adopted and a Comprehensive LEP?
The focus of the Consolidated LEP has been the comparison, assessment and merging of planning provisions and controls currently applicable within planning instruments and DCPs that apply across the Central Coast.
The Consolidated LEP/DCP is the first step of the Central Coast Comprehensive LEP/DCP project. The Central Coast LEP/DCP will have a more in-depth focus on specific issues or matters, such as (but not limited to) environmental lands, housing supply and employment lands. Each component of the Comprehensive LEP/DCP will investigate the current “state of play” for major planning issues. It will be based on forward-looking strategies to identify policy responses over a 20 year planning horizon (for example, it will look at how much land being is required for employment purposes and where should it be located), but it will also consider our legislative obligations and responsibilities (e.g. management of risk, ecological sustainability etc.). The outcomes of these investigations will lead to detailed recommendations for amendments to land use and planning controls to meet the future needs of our community.
The first priority project for completion is a review of the Central Coast Environmental Lands, to bring the deferred matters land into the Standard Instrument (SI) LEP format and phase out historic planning instruments.
Why has it taken so long to reach this point since amalgamation?
The preparation of an LEP of any form is a legislated process which prescribes certain documentation and actions to be prepared and undertaken, including preparation of the planning proposal, agency consultation, community consultation, and plan finalisation.
For a “run of the mill” planning proposal, this usually takes 18 months to 2 years.
For a local government wide planning proposal of this nature and complexity much longer timeframes are typically required. In addition, this project has included the move from pdf maps to online digital mapping, with the draft CCLEP being the first LEP in the state to move to this digital platform.
The consolidation process has required extensive review and assessment in addition to significant consultation. The process commenced in late 2016 with the Department Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) issuing a Gateway Determination to proceed in late 2017.
Following this further assessment and investigations were undertaken as well as consultation with State Government agencies. Amendments were then made based on feedback received.
Throughout the process, Council had been engaged in discussions with the DPIE to be part of a pilot project for digital mapping. This project formally commenced in November 2017, with the digital platform being managed by DPIE, using Council data. It was not until mid-2018 that a spatial viewer for the project could be tested.
Community consultation of the planning proposal, mapping and supporting documentation occurred between December 2018 and February 2019. As part of the legislated process, Council was required to assess the outcomes of public exhibition. With over 750 submissions and outcomes from multiple meetings, there was a considerable volume of material to review, with wide ranging interests and positions represented.
Additionally, following this process, there have been two reports to Council seeking endorsement of the plan. The report of 9 December 2019 was deferred from consideration, whilst the report to the 9 March 2020 Council meeting resulted in a need for additional Councillor briefings which were completed prior to the Council being placed under Administration.
What is a Local Environmental Plan (LEP)?
A Local Environmental Plan (LEP) is the primary legal planning document for guiding land use and planning decisions made by Council.
An LEP describes what can be undertaken on land and is supported by mapping (including land use zones, lot size maps etc.). Through zoning and development controls, the LEP allows Council to manage the way in which land is used to shape our local communities. It is also a way of reflecting strategic land use planning undertaken by Councils - for example, by providing an adequate supply of land for housing and employment.
What is a Development Control Plan (DCP)?
A Development Control Plan (DCP) provides detailed planning and design guidelines to support the planning controls in the Local Environmental Plan (LEP).
A DCP describes how to go about a land use. They provide additional development controls and standards for addressing and managing issues at a local level and provide information to meet Council’s requirements for sustainable, quality development.
The NSW Government’s guide to preparing local environment plan outlines the process that Council follows as part of the NSW planning system which is underpinned by a strategic planning framework.