Requests for planning proposals


The information set out below relates to requests to the Council by the owner of land, or a person acting on behalf of a land owner, to prepare a planning proposal which leads to an amendment to Woollahra LEP 2014. The information does not replace the requirements and procedures for preparing planning proposals contained in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021 and practice notes and circulars issued by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

What is a planning proposal?

A planning proposal is a document prepared by the Council which explains the intended outcomes and justification for a proposed environmental planning instrument such as a local environmental plan (LEP). A planning proposal may deal with a minor change to an existing LEP or it may aim to introduce a new precinct or municipal-wide LEP. In the case of a minor LEP change, a planning proposal may seek to allow different land uses for a property or to change development standards such as a maximum building height, floor space ratio or foreshore building line.

View all current planning proposals

The basic content of a planning proposal is set out in a number of documents:

Additionally, applicants should visit the Department of Planning and Environment's website to view information about the local environmental plan making process including information about the Standard Instrument, the gateway process, local planning directions, LEP practice notes and circulars, model local provisions and LEP mapping standards.

This basic content may be supplemented by studies, reports, architectural plans, drawings and other graphical information that assists with explaining and justifying the planning proposal.

A land owner may request that the Council prepare a planning proposal relating to the owner's land. As a condition of preparing the proposal, the Council can require the owner to carry out studies or provide other information concerning the proposal or to pay the costs and expenses of the Council. The Council and the land owner will enter into an arrangement regarding the payment of the Council's costs in assessing the request and preparing the planning proposal.

Changes to Woollahra LEP 2014 initiated through a planning proposal may require associated or consequential changes to Woollahra DCP 2015.

What is a local environmental plan?

A local environmental plan (LEP) is a statutory planning instrument which controls development and implements planning policies for a local government area. An LEP may contain provisions to protect and improve the environment and to control activities and development that can be carried out on a property or within a building. It can also regulate the scale and form of new buildings, protect trees and conserve buildings and places. An LEP may apply to an entire local area, part of an area or a single property.

Woollahra LEP 2014 is based on the Standard Instrument Principle Local Environmental Plan. This is the State Government's template for all LEPs within New South Wales. The ability to amend Woollahra LEP 2014 is constrained and governed by mandatory provisions within the Standard Instrument, various local model clauses and planning practice notes prepared by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, ministerial directions and State policies and strategies.

This means that certain existing provisions within Woollahra LEP 2014 cannot be changed or removed. Furthermore, it may not be possible to add new provisions to Woollahra LEP 2014 sought by a developer through a planning proposal.

Pre-application consultation service

Purpose of the consultation service

Before an application for a planning proposal is made to Council, it is recommended that applicants meet with Council's strategic planners to discuss the proposed changes to Woollahra LEP 2014 and any associated or consequential changes to Woollahra DCP 2015. Our pre-application service gives applicants the opportunity to discuss their requested changes and receive written comment prior to lodging an application. The pre-application meeting is also an opportunity to establish whether the proposed changes are possible within the limitations imposed by the Standard Instrument, model clauses and the Department's practice notes.

Booking a meeting

You can book a pre-application meeting by completing and submitting the pre-application form(PDF, 263KB).

Preparing for the meeting

Before the meeting, applicants should become familiar with the planning proposal process and the information that must be contained in a planning proposal (see above in 'What is a planning proposal?').

After the meeting

After the meeting, applicants will receive a letter, which incorporates the minutes from the meeting, identifies issues and sets out information that should be provided with an application for a planning proposal. These responses by Council are relevant to the meeting and to the details provided by the applicant at that time. The Council may require additional information once the application is submitted.

The pre-application meeting will not determine the outcome of an application and does not bind Council. The service provides useful early comment regarding an application and can help the applicant in determining whether to proceed with an application.

Using a planning consultant and other professionals

We recommend that you get expert help from a qualified town planner when preparing an application for a planning proposal. Other professionals may also be necessary to assist with providing justification for the requested changes. Professional help is most relevant where the requested change to Woollahra LEP 2014 is likely to be a precursor to a future development application. In such cases it may be necessary to provide information about the potential impacts of developments.

Application for a planning proposal

Download and complete the application form(PDF, 271KB). The application form sets out the information that must be provided with an application. We prefer that you lodge the application together with supporting studies and information in person at:

Customer Service Centre, Redleaf, 536 New South Head Road, Double Bay.

Applicants may choose to submit the information required by section 3.33 of the Act regarding the content of a planning proposal in a manner that follows the format set out in section 2 of the Local Environmental Plan Making Guide (August 2023). This information will be integrated with the planning proposal prepared by Council.

Documentation, including supporting studies and investigations should be submitted in hardcopy (two copies) and as an electronic PDF file.

Disclosure statement

If you are submitting a request for a planning proposal and you or any person with a financial interest in the request made a donation or gift to any Councillor or you made a gift to any Council employee, you may need to make a disclosure statement as part of the application for a planning proposal. You can download a Political donations and gifts disclosure statement form(PDF, 283KB) which includes explanatory information.

Assessing your application

Council's strategic planners will assess the application. The process will involve:

  • Review the content of the application. Additional information may be required at this time.
  • Report to Council's Environmental Planning Committee. In addition to the strategic planner's report, applicants will be required to make a presentation to the Committee.
  • Recommendation of Committee is considered by Council.
  • Council decision whether to support the application and proceed with the preparation of a planning proposal.

The planning proposal steps

If the Council decides to support your application it will commence the planning proposal process. The general steps involve:

  • Prepare planning proposal based on the application and incorporating changes decided by the Council.
  • Refer the planning proposal to the Woollahra Local Planning Panel as may be required by Ministerial Direction.
  • Report the recommendations of the Woollahra Local Planning Panel to Council's Environmental Planning Committee, including any recommended amendments to the planning proposal.
  • Report the recommendation of the Environmental Planning Committee to Council for consideration.
  • Council decides whether or not to support the planning proposal.
  • If supported by Council, the planning proposal is forwarded to the Department of Planning and Environment for assessment. The Council can request an authorisation to exercise the delegated functions of the Minister regarding the making of the local environmental plan.
  • A gateway determination is issued by the Minister for Planning (or delegate). This determination enables the planning proposal to be placed on public exhibition. The gateway determination is usually subject to conditions which specify the minimum period of community consultation and the timeframe for completing the LEP. The determination may also amend the planning proposal and require additional studies to support and justify the proposal. The Department advises whether the delegation is authorised.
  • Community consultation occurs for a minimum period specified in the gateway determination
  • Submissions are assessed by Council's Strategic Planners and a report is prepared for the Environmental Planning Committee's consideration.
  • The Council may endorse the planning proposal in its exhibited form, vary it or decide not to proceed. The Council may also decide to conduct a public hearing in response to issues raised in a submission.
  • If the proposal is varied it is referred to the Department to establish whether a new gateway determination is required.
  • If the planning proposal can proceed without a new gateway determination and the Council has delegated authority, the Council requests the Parliamentary Counsel to prepare a draft LEP.
  • The draft LEP is prepared.
  • Council makes (approves) the LEP if it has been given the delegated functions of the Minister. Otherwise the Minister makes the LEP.
  • The LEP is published on the NSW legislation website.

Review of decisions

Review options relating to steps in the planning proposal process are available to a proponent and the Council. These options apply to the pre-gateway and post gateway determination stages and are set out in the document titled A Guide to Preparing Local Environmental Plans (NSW Department of Planning and Environment, August 2023).


Pre-application meeting

A fee of $3,240 covers the meeting, assessment of information and written response. Should a further pre-application meeting be required, an additional fee of $1,100 will be required.

Assessing request and preparing planning proposal

Fees are NOT payable upon lodgement. An invoice will be issued to the Applicant.

The costs for assessing the application and preparing a planning proposal will depend on the nature and complexity of the request.

The level of complexity will be assessed by the Strategic Planning Team, and the request will be categorised as either Minor, Major or Complex.

Once the Strategic Planning Team has categorised the request and identified if any additional information is required, an invoice will be issued to the Applicant.


  • An hourly rate of $324 applies to any additional unforeseen tasks and functions.
  • These fees apply for the 2023/2024 financial year only. Any fees payable outside this period will be subject to the adopted fees and charges for the relevant financial year.


Enquiries may be made to the Council's Strategic Planning Department by phoning 02 9391 7087.