The translation of the existing Business and Industrial zones to the new Employment zones in NSW is another step closer.

Much awaited changes to Business and Industrial land use zones within every Council in NSW are due to be publicly exhibited by the NSW Department of Planning & Environment (DPE) in the coming days.

How the conversation started

In October 2019, the NSW Productivity Commission released its first major publication.  This was in the form of a Discussion Paper which aimed to start a conversation about how the NSW Government could best support continued growth in the State’s living standards.

One of the key issues identified was the need to ‘Unlock the Potential of Employment and Industrial Zones’.

This issue continued to be identified within the Green Paper ‘Continuing the Productivity Conversation’ in August 2020, and the White Paper ‘Rebooting the economy’ in May 2021. Both papers recommended:

  • The rationalisation of the existing eight Business zones (B1-8) and four Industrial zones (IN1-4) in the Standard Instrument Local Environmental Plan (LEP) to reduce the number of zones.
  • Broadening the range of permissible activities to ensure prescriptions are reserved for genuinely incompatible land uses. 

How is it being implemented? 

The DPE has since taken on board these recommendations and has been working to implement the NSW Productivity Commission’s recommendations.

The first key stage, occurred in November 2021, when the DPE amended the Standard Instrument Local Environmental Plan to introduce:

  • Five new Employment zones (E1-5).
  • A Mixed-Use zone (MU1).
  • A Special Enterprise zone (SP4);
  • A Working Waterfront Zone (W4).
  • Zone objectives for each new zone.
  • A revised range of mandated permissible land uses within each new zone.

The DPE subsequently provided each Council with the preliminary translation of their Business and Industrial zones to the new zones. Work between each Council and the DPE has since been underway to reach an agreed position.

It is understood that some Councils have already endorsed the proposed changes to their LEP’s prior to exhibition whereas others will seek endorsement following the public exhibition.

What will be publicly exhibited? 

The anticipated and forthcoming public exhibition will be contained within a web-based platform run by the DPE.  The platform will house documents for each Council area that will outline exactly how the existing eight Business and four Industrial zones will translate into the new framework.  For each Council area it is expected that the translation documents will comprise:

  • Zoning maps which will outline which areas are impacted by the changes and the proposed new zones for those areas.
  • The zone objectives for each of the new zones.
  • Land use tables which will outline land uses which are permissible without development consent, land uses which are permissible with consent and those which are prohibited.
  • Changes to any local provisions.
  • Changes to Schedule 1 - Additional permitted use provisions.

What are the implications? 

The changes to Business and Industrial land use zones within every Council in NSW are potentially significant and will alter the land use zones and permissible land uses. These changes may also alter the local provisions and site-specific provisions that apply to your land.

How we can assist

We can assist you with understanding how these changes may affect your property portfolio, highlight any potential problems and identify new opportunities. 

If you would like us to investigate the implications of this next phase of the employment zone reform on your property interests, please fill out the following form

Claire Burdett

Claire Burdett

Associate Director | Sydney