Local Environmental Plan

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Local Environmental Plan

​​​​​​​​​​What is a Local Environmental Plan?

Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) guide planning decisions for local government areas. They do this through zoning and development controls, which provides 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.

Which Local Environmental Plan applies to the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area?

Two LEPs currently apply to land in the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area (LGA).

1. Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013

Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 (LEP 2013) was made on 27 September 2013 and was prepared in accordance with the Standard Instrument - Principle Local Environmental Plan that applies across New South Wales.

Both the written document and maps can be viewed  at the NSW Legislation website:

Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013

LEP 2013 Maps (external link to NSW Legislation website)

Equivalent Zones - See how previous zones are mapped to the new zones

See the new LEP in our Online Mapping Tool

An associated Development Contro​l Plan applies to all land that LEP 2013 applies to.

LEP 2013 applies to all land within the Coffs Harbour LGA, excluding certain land parcels that were deferred from the Plan at the time of its making to enable further investigations to be undertaken to support the proposed land use zones under this new Plan. This land is referred to as 'deferred land' and is subject to Council's former Coffs Harbour City LEP 2000 (see discussion below.)

2. Coffs Harbour City Local Environmental Plan 2000

At its meeting on 13 December 2012, Coffs Harbour City Council resolved to defer certain land in the Hearnes Lake, Sandy Beach, Emerald Beach and Moonee from Coffs LEP 2013, to enable further investigations to be undertaken to support the application of new land use zones under the Standard Instrument - Principle Local Environmental Plan.

Most of this land was added to Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 via Amendment No 8 in July 2018. One land parcel at Sandy Beach remains deferred from Coffs Harbour LEP 2013. This land is shown here as DM (white area with a red outline).

Coffs Harbour City LEP 2000 (LEP 2000) applies to the deferred land. LEP 2000 and its associated maps can be viewed here.

Note: a Planning Proposal has been lodged by Council with NSW Planning & Environment to amend LEP 2013 to include the deferred land. When this LEP is formally made by the Minister of Planning, Coffs Harbour LEP 2000 will be repealed and will therefore no longer apply to the Coffs Harbour LGA.

How are planning controls updated and reviewed?

Local Environmental Plans are updated and/or reviewed via the 'Gateway Process'.

There are five steps in the process:

1. The Planning Proposal
2. Gateway
3. Community Consultation
4. Assessment
5. The making of the LEP

Further details on the Gateway Process and Resources for Plan Making / Tracking can be found on the NSW Planning & Environment Website.

How do i make an application to amend Council's LEPs?
The following steps apply for all applications to amend Council's LEPs.

Step A: Complete Council's Request to Amend Coffs Harbour LEP - Pre-Lodgement Meeting F​orm.

Step B: Attend Pre-Lodgement meeting and Local Planning Staff

Step C: Complete Council's Application Form Request to Amend LEP

Step D: Await Council's Peer Review of the application

Next Steps; Dependant on the outcomes of Peer Review, the applicant will be notified of the next steps.

Can you please explain how the Fees and Charges work for requests to amend Council's LEP?

Amendments to Council's LEP can be for simple or complex matters. Our current fees and charges aim to scale up or down depending on the complexity of the request. The scale of the request, and consequently the fees to be charged, will be discussed at the compulsory pre-lodgment meeting.

Simple changes, including minor amendments and minor anomoly corrections, have fewer charges and do not require specialist studies to be prepared. Major amendments have been divided into 3 categories and each category attracts a different charge; and all specialist studies required to accompany these requests are funded at the applicant's cost. These categories are defined as:

  • Major Type A -  Single site or issue generally consistent with Council's strategic planning framework or Planning directions and where no specialist studies are required (fee to be paid prior to commencement of Gateway Application with no refund provision).
  • Major Type B - Multiple sites or issues generally consistent with Council's strategic planning framework or Planning directions and where specialist studies are required (fee to be paid prior to commencement of Gateway Application with no refund provision; and specialist studies to be funded at cost by the applicant).
  • Major Type C - Complex application inconsistent with strategic planning framework or Planning directions and where specialist studies are required (fee to be paid prior to commencement of Gateway Application with no refund provision, payable by progress payments depending on complexity and process phases involved; and specialist studies to be funded at cost by the applicant).

Council also offers the ability to pay the fees and charges either as milestones are achieved in the LEP amendment process; or alternatively via a discounted one-off payment option.