What is an LEP?
An LEP or ‘local environmental plan’ is Council’s main legal document for controlling development and guiding planning decisions made by Council to ensure that growth and development occurs in a planned and coordinated manner consistent with Council and community expectations and needs.
- An LEP contains land use zones which establish where residential, commercial, recreation and other uses can occur. It has development controls for buildings and land, including controls for height, floor space, subdivision and lot size. An LEP also provides protection for trees, heritage items, heritage conservation areas and environmentally sensitive areas.
An LEP is made by Council in consultation with the community, and approved by the Minister for Planning, according to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
It is reviewed every 7 to 10 years to ensure that the LEP is forward looking and suitably addresses current and emerging planning issues.
What are land use zones?
Land use zones are a way of locating compatible land uses together. Land use zones establish the type of land uses that are permitted (with or without consent) or prohibited in each zone. For example, a hotel may be permitted in a business zone but prohibited in an area zoned for residential purposes.
Typical zoning colours are shades of pink for residential use and shades of blue for commercial use, with recreational areas shown in green.
There are 11 land use zones in Woollahra LEP 2014. These are shown on the Land Zoning Map.
What is the land use table?
Each zone contains specific land uses that are permissible or prohibited. These are listed in the land use table.
Can my house or apartment be used for short-term rental accommodation?
Under Woollahra Local Environmental Plan 2014 (Woollahra LEP 2014), bed and breakfasts are permitted 'with consent' in all residential and commercial zones. This means that under Woollahra LEP 2014, development consent is needed from Council prior to operating a bed and breakfast.
Bed and breakfast accommodation is defined as:
an existing dwelling in which temporary or short-term accommodation is provided on a commercial basis by the permanent residents of the dwelling and where:
- (a) meals are provided for guests only, and
- (b) cooking facilities for the preparation of meals are not provided within guests' rooms, and
- (c) dormitory-style accommodation is not provided.
Importantly, this type of accommodation is to be provided by the permanent residents of the dwelling who must be present on-site. Short-term accommodation where the permanent residents are absent, e.g. as can be provided by services such as Airbnb, Stayz and Rentbyowner, are not bed and breakfast accommodation. There is no definition in Woollahra LEP 2014 for this type of short-term accommodation.
In certain circumstances, bed and breakfast accommodation is permissible as complying development in dwelling houses under Part 1 and Part 4A, Subdivision 1 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP). For example, the property must be a dwelling house (not an apartment) and have at least 1 off-road car parking space.
Therefore, the short-term leasing of houses and apartments (in residential areas) is not permissible unless a development consent or a complying development certificate has been issued for the use of the property as bed and breakfast accommodation.
Note: If your property is located in a commercial zone, under Woollahra LEP 2014 there are a greater range of permissible types of tourist and visitor accommodation, e.g. serviced apartments.