Item 8.3 - Attachment 1

Draft LEP report considered on 15 Dec 2008




SUBJECT                   Draft Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2008

REFERENCE            F2006/01198 - D01128551

REPORT OF              Acting Manager Land Use and Transport Planning        





This report seeks Council’s endorsement of a revised version of draft Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2008 (draft LEP) for submission to the Department of Planning (DoP), seeking a section 65 certificate to enable the public exhibition of the draft plan.


The amendments to the draft LEP are in response to the DoP’s changes to the template or ‘standard instrument’ and directives on how draft LEPs must be prepared in order to be consistent with the standard instrument and corrections to minor mapping anomalies and updated mapping information.





Note: An application has been lodged with the Department of Local Government to issue pecuniary interest exemptions under section 458 of the Local Government Act to allow Councillors to vote on the draft LEP at this meeting of Council meeting. If the exemptions are received in time, it is recommended that Council adopt Recommendation A. If the exemptions are not received in time, it is recommended that Council adopt Recommendation B.




1.      That Council endorse draft Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2008 in Attachments 7 and 8 to this report and seek section 65 certification from the Department of Planning to enable the public exhibition of the draft plan.


2.      That Council be informed of the outcome of the certification process prior to the commencement of the exhibition and any significant changes be the subject of a further report.


3.      That any land reservations required for public transport corridors relating to SREP 18 – Public Transport Corridors be included in draft PLEP 2008 prior to exhibition if resolved by the relevant State Government authorities.


4.      That Council raise objection to the very late direction from the Department of Planning regarding the structure of the land use table in the draft LEP with regard to the specification of prohibited land uses, such that any unnamed land uses are automatically permissible with consent.


5.      That Council staff continue the process to further develop a voluntary planning agreement (VPA) for the No 2 Morton Street site with the proponent and the draft VPA be reported back to Council for endorsement with the aim of exhibiting the draft VPA concurrently with draft PLEP 2008.


6.      That Council express its concern to the Minister for Planning at the delay in the Department initiated joint planning work for Epping town centre.


7.      That Council agree in principle to the amalgamation of the City Centre LEP with the draft LEP 2008 and that a further report on the process of amalgamation be presented to Council.


8.      That, subject to advice to Council of those changes, should minor errors be discovered in the draft LEP maps or documentation, then those errors be rectified prior to exhibition of the draft LEP without being referred back to Council.


9.      That when the draft LEP is referred to the Department of Planning for certification, it includes Council’s adopted position for the Merrylands centre, which is the subject of separate consideration at tonight’s Council meeting.


Recommendation B


1.      That Council note this report and the Chief Executive Officer be granted delegated authority to refer the draft LEP in Attachments 7 and 8 to the Department of Planning (DoP) seeking a section 65 certificate.


2.      That the draft LEP be reported back to Council after it has been considered by the DoP prior to commencement of the public exhibition.


3.      That items 3 – 9 of Recommendation A be adopted.




1.      Council adopted draft Parramatta LEP 2008 at its meeting on 30 May 2007 for the purposes of commencing the section 65 certification process with the DoP, with further amendments adopted at the Council meetings on 23 July and 10 September 2007.


2.      In a report to Council on 29 October 2007, Council was advised that the DoP would not be issuing a s65 certificate due to a number of drafting and policy matters (refer to the detailed report in Attachment 1).


3.      In December 2007, the State Government’s template, referred to as the ‘Standard Instrument’ was amended and during 2008, a number of directives were issued by the DoP which added to the drafting and formatting changes to be addressed in the draft LEP.  Attachment 2 outlines these requirements and details of the work on the draft LEP to progress to the present point. Councillor workshops in April and December 2008 have provided updates on the status of the draft LEP.


Present Position


4.      In November 2008, a pre submission meeting was held between senior planning staff from the DoP and Council to determine if the DoP has any outstanding issues before Council submits the draft LEP and requests a s 65 certificate.


5.      A significant degree of compliance with DoP requirements has now been achieved in the draft LEP document and maps, presented as separate hard copy attachments 7 and 8 to this report. This report presents the updated draft LEP for Council’s consideration and endorsement, so that it can again be referred to the DoP seeking a s65 certificate to enable public exhibition of the draft plan. The report’s recommendations seek to progress the draft LEP and related aspects which are explained in the detailed report in Attachment 1.


6.      As outlined in Attachment 1, there are a few areas where differences may remain between Council and the DoP. These include some local clauses in part 6 of the draft LEP which ‘roll over’ Council’s existing provisions for sex services premises, child care centres, and places of public worship into the new draft LEP and the structure of the land use table.


7.      It is possible that the DoP may require amendments to the draft LEP, including the structure of the land use table prior to exhibition of the draft LEP. From discussions with senior officers from the DoP, it would appear likely that Council will be permitted to exhibit the draft LEP with the disputed local clauses that ‘roll over’ existing provisions from Council’s existing LEP. Council will, however, need to provide further information to address the DoP’s concerns relating to these provisions in further progressing the plan and where points of difference remain, Council can make a submission to the Minister.


Next Steps


8.      It is recommended that Council endorse the updated version of the draft LEP and refer it to the DoP seeking a s65 certificate. Any significant changes required before Council is able to proceed with the public exhibition of the draft plan will be reported to Council.  After the public exhibition, Council will have a further opportunity to review the draft LEP, in considering submissions received in response to the exhibition.


9.      A report on updates to the draft Parramatta Development Control Plan (DCP) 2008, which contains the more detailed planning controls and guidelines for development, will also be presented to Council prior to the public exhibition commencing, as it is intended that the draft LEP and DCP be exhibited together. Council has recently resolved to amend the DCP to incorporate provisions relating to boarding houses and places of public worship.




10.    The timing of the public exhibition is subject to the outcome of the DoP’s processing of and any further requirements for the draft LEP as part of the s65 certification as well as any further reports to Council necessary regarding the draft LEP and also the report on the updates to draft Parramatta DCP 2008. It is, however, anticipated that the exhibition could occur in the first half of 2009.






Neal McCarry                                             Sue Stewart

Project Officer                                          Senior Project Officer

Land Use Planning                                Land Use Planning




Detailed report on draft Parramatta LEP 2008

16 Pages










As has previously been reported at Council’s meetings of 30 November 2006 and 30 May 2007, the Residential Development Strategy (RDS) proposes to concentrate new residential growth in established centres where growth can best be accommodated. The RDS sets the direction for the future location, density and form of housing within the different residential areas of the Parramatta LGA.  The strategy outlined in that document is to concentrate development in centres or nodes that offer better public transport, facilities and shops, to allow more efficient use of public transport, to encourage more walkable communities and preserve the low density character of many of Parramatta’s suburban neighbourhoods.


The delivery of the RDS will be via a new Local Environmental Plan (LEP). The LEP is the statutory instrument that prescribes provisions such as land use permissibility of various land uses, maximum heights & floorspace ratios.


Additionally, the new LEP has had to be prepared in accordance with the State Governments Standard Instrument Order 2007 also referred to as the Standard Instrument. The Order seeks to standardise all LEPs, the overall aim of which is for local environmental plans across NSW to use the same planning language, and be easier for communities to understand what is planned for their local area.


Once a Council resolves to make a new plan and prepares such, approval is required from the Department of Planning (DoP) to publicly exhibit the plan. This report details the changes which have occurred since the draft Local Environmental Plan 2008 (draft LEP) was last considered by Council and seeks endorsement to progress this plan with the DoP and progress to public exhibition.


Background  to LEP


Council adopted the draft LEP at its meeting on 30 May 2007 for the purposes of commencing the section 65 certification process with the DoP to enable public exhibition of the draft LEP.


Council adopted further amendments to the draft LEP at its meetings on 23 July 2007 and 10 September 2007.


In a report to Council on 29 October 2007, Council was advised that the DoP had various issues with the draft LEP and would not be issuing a s65 certificate. A meeting was also held between the Minister for Planning, DoP officers and a delegation from Parramatta City Council on 24 October 2007 to discuss the draft LEP.


Subsequent advice was received from the DoP in November and December 2007 clarifying the issues that needed to be addressed under the draft LEP.


The key issues and concerns expressed by the Department at that time related to the following:


·           Downzoning of residential land in RDS centres

·           Permissibility of sex services in areas covered by Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No 28 – Parramatta

·           Heritage office issues

·           Proposed Epping Heritage Conservation Areas

·           Open space, justification of changes to correct anomalies

·           Standard instrument policy and drafting requirements

·           Department of Housing outstanding DAs in South Granville


Amalgamation of the Parramatta City Centre LEP 2007 (CCLEP) with the draft LEP  was also raised as a matter that Council would need to address, but not prior to exhibition of the draft LEP. This is discussed in more detail in a later section of this report.


In December 2007, the Standard Instrument was amended and during 2008 a number of directions were issued by the DoP which added to the drafting and formatting requirements to be addressed in the draft LEP.[1] These are outlined in more detail in Attachment 2.


Attachment 2 also provides details of the work on the draft LEP to progress to the present point. This has included:

·           reports to Council on 26 November 2007, & 25 August 2008 relating to the Epping Town Centre joint planning work with DoP and Hornsby Council

·           report to Council 28 July 2008 on independent review of proposed heritage amendments

·           reports to Council 23 June 2008, 28 July 2008 & 24 November 2008 on deferred RDS areas of Carlingford, Rydalmere East & Merrylands

·           Councillor workshops 9 April 2008, 1 December 2008 – updates on draft LEP


In November 2008, a pre submission meeting was held between senior planning staff from the DoP and Council. This meeting is a requirement of the DoP before Council formally resolves to endorse the draft LEP for public exhibition. The purpose of the meeting was to review the draft LEP for compliance with the standard instrument and to resolve any outstanding policy issues with the draft plan.


There are some issues following this meeting that have not been fully resolved. These are listed below and are discussed further in later sections of this report.


·           Land Use Table – structure and innominate[2] uses

·           Local Clause 6.2 Sex Services Premises

·           Local Clause 6.5 Restricted Premises

·           Local Clause 6.3 Child Care Centres in R2 zones

·           Local Clause 6.19 Places of Public Worship

·           Land Zoned E2 Environmental Conservation

·           Application of Business zones


At the date of writing of this report, a rescission motion has been lodged relating to the most recently adopted position (24 November 2008) for the Merrylands RDS centre. This matter will be considered at the same meeting as this report. Accordingly, the maps accompanying this report reflect Council’s previously adopted position for Merrylands as a deferred RDS area. Upon resolution of the planning controls for this area, the maps will be amended accordingly.




Under s62 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act, Councils must consult with government agencies in the preparation of a draft LEP and take into consideration any comments received.  A s65 certificate to allow a draft LEP to be placed on public exhibition cannot be issued if there are any unresolved s62 issues or objections. Section 62 matters relating to the draft LEP include issues raised by the DoP, the Department of Housing (DoH) and the Heritage Office, which are discussed below. Additionally, a s65 certificate cannot be issued unless the draft LEP is consistent with the requirements of the State Government’s standard instrument.


Residential Development Strategy (RDS)


Prior to commencing the draft LEP, Council adopted its Residential Development Strategy (RDS), in November 2006, following extensive public consultation. In excess of 20 Councillor workshops have been held regarding the RDS and its translation into the draft LEP.


Under Council’s RDS, housing growth is to be concentrated in centres or nodes that offer better public transport, facilities and shops, rather than having dispersed growth spread more broadly across suburban residential areas. The RDS identified 21 such nodes for investigation.


Eleven of these were initially deferred for future consideration, in an attempt to stage the release of higher density zones.  Council proposed to downzone[3] deferred areas in the short term under the draft LEP to ensure the areas would be preserved for future development.  So, for example, land that is zoned under the current Parramatta LEP 2001 to permit town house development, may currently contain single detached housing, but have development potential under that zoning to be re developed for town houses. If this occurs, then these new townhouse developments, which are generally strata titled, make it more difficult for the land to be redeveloped for a higher density development, such as apartments, at a later time. If, however, the land is downzoned, then the detached housing is more likely to be preserved in the short term and this form of housing is more easily redeveloped for apartments at a later time. This approach provides a more flexible approach to consideration of future zonings and is more likely to deliver neighbourhoods that have more consistent housing forms, more co-ordinated streetscapes and higher levels of residential amenity.


In the centres that are proceeding under the RDS, draft planning controls reflecting zoning, height and floor space ratios to allow for increased housing potential have been prepared in consultation with Councillors for inclusion in the draft LEP. Minor downzoning of land at the periphery of some of these centres is proposed.


The DoP has previously objected to proposed downzonings in the RDS centres, including those deferred for later investigation. Council has consistently argued that as a result of detailed urban design and other analysis of the RDS centres, the proposed zonings in the draft LEP are an appropriate and sensible planning response and furthermore, that Council would meet its dwelling target of 21,000 dwellings by 2031 under the draft LEP.


Council also sought to address the DoP’s concerns by undertaking detailed analysis of the deferred RDS centres containing proposed downzonings, such that zoning and built form controls to allow increased housing density in these centres would be included in the draft LEP. This included Carlingford, Rydalmere East and Merrylands.


Additionally, the draft LEP presented to Council with this report proposes to reverse the minor downzonings previously proposed in the deferred RDS centres along the NW bus transitway in Reynolds St, Old Toongabbie and the already developed Wentworthville Department of Housing Estate (Cnr Cumberland Highway & Old Windsor Rd). This means that these two areas would retain their existing zoning equivalent in the draft LEP and not be downzoned. This is proposed as a minor compromise to assist in resolving the downzoning objections of the DoP in the draft LEP. The RDS centres along the NW transitway will remain as deferred RDS centres to be investigated after completion of the draft LEP, as resolved by Council.


With the abovementioned outcomes, it is understood the DoP will not raise downzonings as an impediment to the issuing of a s65 certificate to enable exhibition of the draft LEP.


Epping Town Centre & Proposed Heritage Amendments


Council was updated on the joint planning work for Epping Town Centre in a report to the Council meeting on 25 August 2008.  The aim of this work is to achieve co-ordinated planning controls for the Epping Town centre, which is split between Hornsby and Parramatta City Council (PCC).  This project, initiated by the former Minister for Planning in November 2007, remains unfunded and substantive work has not yet commenced. The DoP has advised that both Councils will need to make a joint application for funding with the next release of DoP Planning Reform Funds, but is unable to advise when this will occur.


PCC has already adopted draft planning controls for the future growth and development of the Epping Town Centre within the Parramatta LGA, including a review of heritage listed properties and heritage conservation areas. It was intended that these draft controls would be included in the draft LEP.  However, because of the joint planning work to be undertaken, the DoP requires that Council’s draft controls be deferred and that the draft LEP contain the existing planning controls for the Epping Town Centre and surrounding heritage conservation area. This means the existing controls are proposed to be ‘rolled over’ into the equivalent zones under the new standardised format in the draft LEP.


Therefore, draft LEP has been amended to include zoning, height and floorspace ratios for the Epping town centre reflecting current controls under Parramatta LEP 2001, the existing heritage listed items and heritage conservation areas under the Parramatta Heritage LEP 1996 and the adopted Epping Town Centre masterplan.


Department of Housing Development Applications


A number of Department of Housing (DoH) sites in the South Granville area have been proposed for redevelopment at increased density, as permitted under the current LEP.  The Department of Planning indicated to Council that if it issued a s65 certificate prior to the applications for these developments being determined, these sites would be required to retain their existing zonings rather than be downzoned as Council proposes under the draft LEP. 


It has been unnecessary to amend the proposed zones under the draft LEP as the DoH applications have been determined, excepting one proposal for 6 townhouses, which is expected to be determined well ahead of the public exhibition of the draft LEP.


Sydney Regional Environmental Planning Policy No. 18 – Public Transport Corridors


Sydney Regional Environmental Plan 18 – Public Transport Corridors (SREP18) identifies land required for acquisition for the purpose of a public transport corridor along sections of Windsor Rd and Great Western Highway within the Parramatta LGA.  The DoP intends to repeal SREP 18 now that other transport corridors are operating, including the NW bus transitway to Rouse Hill and Parramatta to Liverpool Transitway.


However, the Ministry of Transport might still require some of the transport reservations contained in SREP 18 to be included in the draft LEP. The DoP is liaising with the Ministry of Transport regarding this matter and in particular, which State Government agency would be the responsible for acquiring the land. Until this matter is resolved, the draft LEP does not include the transport reservations as found in SREP 18.


It is recommended that once Council receives advice on this issue that any alterations required to incorporate the transport reservations be included in the draft LEP prior to it being placed on public exhibition.


Heritage Office Issues


Comments from the Heritage Office under the jurisdiction of the DoP were referred to Council in November 2007. Most comments related to draft Parramatta Development Control Plan 2008 (draft DCP 2008). Comments in relation to the draft LEP concerned the incorporation of ‘identified views’ under the Sydney Regional Environmental Plan 28 – Parramatta (SREP 28), inclusion of a planning aim for the Parramatta River Corridor, heights adjoining key heritage items such as Macarthur House, in Melville Street and around All Saints Church, and heritage schedule references to indicate State Heritage Inventory items and potential archaeological sites.


Proposed heights adjacent to State heritage inventory properties have been reviewed to ensure that there is no increase under the draft LEP. Controls relating to identified views and planning aims for the Parramatta River Corridor are contained in the draft DCP. The standard instrument format for the heritage schedule does not allow referencing of State heritage inventory items; however, it does identify state significant items and listings that include archaeological sites.


The Heritage Office comments have been satisfactorily addressed and this has been acknowledged by the DoP.


Special Purpose Zone


The Special Purpose Zones provided by the Standard Instrument are generally intended to cover regionally significant physical infrastructure and sites containing special characteristics. The Special Purpose Zones are utilised where the land use cannot be accommodated in the surrounding zone. For this reason, land currently zoned 9(c) Local Transport Reservation (Proposed) under Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2001 (PLEP 2001), and many land uses zoned Special Uses under PLEP 2001 and SREP No. 28 are not proposed to be included in the Special Purpose Zones but rather rezoned the same as the adjacent land.


This requirement is outlined in the DoP’s LEP Practice Note 08-002 dated March 2008. Consistent with the provisions of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007, which is intended to facilitate the delivery of infrastructure across NSW by improving regulatory certainty and efficiency, this approach fundamentally provides for greater flexibility and adaptive management of government land. Some concern is raised over this approach due to the reduced level of certainty and transparency of the intended future of some of these sites, however, the directive issued by the DoP is not negotiable.


For the most part, the following land uses zoned Special Uses in the Parramatta LEP 2001 and SREP 28, are proposed to be zoned the same as the surrounding land:


·        Child care centres

·        Community facilities

·        Electricity substation

·        Heritage items

·        Places of public worship

·        Primary and secondary schools

·        Seniors housing

·        Water storage facilities


Accordingly, the SP2 Infrastructure Zone under the draft LEP is proposed to be applied to the regionally significant infrastructure types listed in the table below. Most of these land uses are currently zoned Special Uses.


Infrastructure Type

Notation used on Zoning Map


Health Services Facility

TAFE and Universities

Educational Establishment

Defence headquarters

Public Administration Building

RTA owned roads

Classified Road



Sydney Water pipeline

Water Supply System


Rail Corridor


Land Reserved for Road Widening on Main Roads


Land currently zoned 9B (Transport Reservation) under PLEP 2001 has been reviewed in consultation with the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) to reflect the RTA’s current requirements for proposed road widening.  Many of the reservations shown in PLEP 2001 have now been abandoned by the RTA or are inaccurate in configuration and therefore require updating.  Survey plans provided by the RTA informed road widening requirements for main roads proposed in the draft LEP. This process also revealed that several lots which were not affected by classified road widening in PLEP 2001 are now affected due to widening requirements which have emerged over the past 7 years. The details of these affected properties are provided in Attachment 3. Main road widening is shown as the SP2 (Classified Road) zone on the Land Zoning Map and the reservation is shown on the Land Reservation Acquisition Map in the draft LEP.


Application of the E2 Zone


The E2 Environmental Conservation Zone has been applied to all zones previously zoned Environmental Protection (Bushland). In recent meetings with the DoP, it has been expressed that the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) need to be satisfied that the areas proposed to be zoned E2 are of ‘high conservation value’ and that this zone has not been applied inappropriately simply because an area contains vegetation.


Council officers are satisfied that these areas are of high conservation value and the zone has been correctly applied, however, in order to satisfy the requirement of the DoP, confirmation will be sought from DECC prior to exhibition.


Application of Waterway Zonings


Most of the waterways within the Parramatta LGA are either unzoned or zoned the same as the adjacent zone in PLEP 2001.  This has the potential to diminish future protection and restoration of the ecological and geomorphic values of natural riparian corridors. These values are recognised in the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy and Draft West Central Subregional Strategy, which encourage the use of waterways zonings in the Standard LEP Instrument to maintain and improve the health of these waterways.


For these reasons, that part of the Parramatta River located within the Parramatta LGA is proposed to be zoned W2 Recreational Waterways in the draft LEP. This zone reflects the recreational and regional significance of the Parramatta River whilst protecting its ecological and scenic values. The zone has been applied to the river’s channel and banks.


The W1 Natural Waterways Zone is proposed for other waterways located on publicly owned land. The general intention of this zone is to protect the ecological and scenic values of these riparian corridors. Mapping reflects the stream order and environmental significance of each natural waterway in this zone. The zone widths allow for maintaining water quality, bank stability and reducing soil erosion.


Identifying natural waterways throughout the Parramatta LGA by way of zones is the most significant contribution a LEP can make to the long term health and management of waterways. Given the possible consequences of climate change on biodiversity, the use of this provision is an important tool in identifying corridor linkages, protecting regrowth and significant vegetation that will fundamentally assist in buffering waterways. 


Zoning Anomalies


The draft LEP proposes to address a number of zoning anomalies that have been identified in LEP 2001.  Information on the anomalies has been collated over the course of several years with the intention of conducting a review as part of the preparation of the draft LEP. Council at its meeting of 30 May 2007 resolved to correct these anomalies as part of the LEP process.


The majority of the identified anomalies are best categorised as minor errors that have been detected in the existing zonings within Parramatta LEP 2001. For example; parcels of land that aren’t correctly coloured on the LEP maps or parcels of land that are identified graphically as a certain zone but do not correlate with information contained in Council’s property system.


As a result of the investigations carried out, a number of the properties will be required to be zoned RE1 - Public Recreation or E2 – Environmental Conservation to more accurately reflect on-the-ground activities and attributes. Many of the sites in question are irregular or elongated parcels of land which, for various reasons, have been incorrectly identified as being a different zone. For example, narrow pathways that serve as accessways to parkland or small reserves (named & unnamed) that are surrounded by residential streets.


Since the date of Council’s previous resolution, the standard instrument has been amended which included new zonings and through the map making process, additional anomalies have been discovered. The DoP also requested that several other anomalies be reviewed.  These are identified in Attachment 4.


The re-zonings proposed in the attached table are regarded as ‘housekeeping’ or ‘tidying-up’ matters. The re-zonings will not result in any physical changes ‘on the ground’ nor any alterations to development potential that are inconsistent with Council’s Residential Development Strategy (RDS).


The identified anomalies have been incorporated into the draft LEP maps accompanying this report.


Local Provisions


Local Provisions are included in Part 6 of the draft LEP. These are designed to regulate local planning matters.  When first preparing the draft LEP, it was Council’s intention to copy existing local provisions contained in Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2001 and State Regional Environmental Planning Policy No.28 – Parramatta, into the standardised template.


As the draft plan has progressed, the DoP has placed more scrutiny on these local provisions to standardise local clauses by using model clauses common to many Councils that provide a similar outcome.


As a consequence of the review of local provisions, there are 17 local provisions proposed in the draft LEP. These are addressed in more detail in Attachment 5. 


The amendments have been required to comply with legal requirements of the standard instrument as advised by the Department of Planning and have resulted in the deletion of some clauses. These include clauses no longer required; e.g – where a clause duplicates requirements of new legislation such as State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007. Deleted clauses are indicated at the rear of Attachment 5.


Clause 6.17 – Environmental Protection:

A new local provision has been added to the draft plan to complement the zoning of waterways previously outlined. Clause 6.17 relates to Environmental Protection of waterways and vegetated buffers that are located on privately owned land. The core objective of this clause is to maintain riparian connectivity throughout the LGA and thus improve ecological processes. This approach is consistent with the policy directions set out by the Department of Environment and Conservation, Department of Primary Industries and the Department of Water and Energy for the protection of biodiversity values.


Clause 6.5 - Restricted Premises:

Restricted premises, by definition under the standard instrument, are a type of business premises or retail premises. They are defined as follows:


restricted premises means business premises or retail premises that, due to their nature, restrict access to patrons or customers over 18 years of age, and includes sex shops and similar premises but does not include hotel or motel accommodation, a pub, home occupation (sex services) or sex services premises.


Business premises are a mandated land use under the standard instrument in business zones. The DoP will not allow restricted premises to be an exception to the type of business premises permitted in any of the business zones and accordingly they must be permitted in B1 Neighbourhood Centre, B2 Local Centre and B4 Mixed Use zones, which include areas in suburban locations, like local shopping centres.


Clause 6.5 – Restricted Premises of the draft LEP is therefore proposed to be amended to include some limitations on the location of restricted premises where they adjoin or are separated only by a road from residential land and other sensitive land uses such as schools, churches, community or children’s sporting or recreational activities.


Exempt and Complying Development


A practice note was issued by the DoP on 5 August 2008 which contained a directive that all Councils are to select exempt and complying schedules from exhibited or gazetted LEPs when preparing draft LEPs.  Amendments to selected schedules can be made to reflect local conditions and circumstances but kept to a minimum and suitably justified. The aim of this approach is to minimise considerable expenditure of time by Parliamentary Counsel in reviewing and re-drafting schedules and to provide for more consistency in wording and drafting.


Council staff have reviewed the schedules of two gazetted LEPs (Canada Bay and Liverpool) as well as several others which have been publicly exhibited. In the majority of cases the provisions of Liverpool City Council’s Schedule 2 (Exempt Development) have been incorporated where they reflect Parramatta Council’s corresponding provisions. Where necessary, some additional provisions have been inserted to reflect additional Parramatta provisions and standards.


Specific provisions have also been added to cover several existing special character areas and conservation areas. These provisions relate primarily to re-cladding of dwellings, front fences & carports. The standard template does not provide ready opportunity for the tailoring of controls within specific areas and rather than remove that category of development as exempt (front fences for example) and require everyone to lodge a D.A. The approach taken has been to include specific controls for these areas.


This is considered necessary to maintain the unique character of these areas e.g. the suburb of Winston Hills is characterised by an absence of front fences the effect of which is an open garden feel and setting. The area is identified as a special character area under Council’s current DCP and the continued approach of limiting any front fencing is necessary.


In relation to Schedule 3 (Complying Development), Liverpool’s gazetted version contained numerous provisions with little or no relationship to Parramatta’s current provisions (e.g. development on large lots and rural lots and land uses). Accordingly, a large number have not been retained.


Additionally, a number of provisions relating to new dwellings and alterations and additions to dwellings have been added from Council’s existing Complying Development DCP which are considered to best reflect the specific character and housing type of the Parramatta LGA. These provisions also read more consistently with the provisions contained within Council’s DCP for dwellings that require a Development Application.


The exempt and complying schedules have a different appearance to those previously presented to Council, however the best attempt has been made to incorporate the intent of the existing provisions.


Morton Street Draft Voluntary Planning Agreement


The site at No. 2 Morton Street is currently zoned “Employment” under the Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2001. The Residential Development Strategy (RDS) identifies the Morton Street precinct as an area appropriate for increased residential growth.


A structure plan for the precinct has been prepared which anticipates a mix of housing types with the Morton Street being a focal point for retail activity and community uses. Under the draft LEP, No.2 Morton Street includes zonings for mixed use and residential development with building heights varying between 6 and 8 storeys, with some tower elements up to 12 storeys.


The portion of land on No. 2 Morton Street that fronts the river is proposed public open space. Parts of this area are environmentally sensitive. It also provides an opportunity for more passive open space and to provide a missing pedestrian and cycleway link connecting the CBD with James Ruse Drive. Given the size of the site and the development potential, Council has previously resolved to negotiate with the property owners to prepare a voluntary planning agreement (VPA) to provide for public infrastructure and facilities that would benefit both the local community and enhance the liveability of the precinct.  The advantage of a VPA is that there is a more direct relationship between the public infrastructure provided and the development and potentially a higher level of public infrastructure than the traditional Section 94 contributions plan.  It is, however, voluntary so neither party is forced to enter into such an agreement.


The draft VPA was reported to Council in October 2007. Council at that meeting endorsed the principles of that agreement. Since that time, Council has obtained legal advice on the proper construction of the agreement and the need to formalise in more detail the specifications of the agreement. The next phase is to enter into a more formal negotiation with the landowner and for the proposed VPA to be reported to Council so the draft VPA can be exhibited with draft LEP.


In the event that the VPA does not proceed, Council’s Section 94A Contribution Plan addresses proposed works for this locality. The cycleway connection along the foreshore adjacent to the Morton Street precinct is included in the works program.


The DoP had also suggested including a local clause relating to provision of this infrastructure based on the regional significance of the foreshore link, however, the model clause provided does not fit the circumstance of the Morton Street site and is therefore not included in the draft plan.


Business Zones


During the preparation of draft PLEP 2008, land adjacent to James Ruse Drive and Grand Avenue North, Camellia/Rosehill was initially zoned B3 Commercial Core. This zone was used in an attempt to take a best fit in translating the SREP zones applying to these areas. Council was directed by DoP that the B3 Commercial Core zone was specifically designed for higher order centres (i.e like the Parramatta CBD) and that it should not be applied to isolated sites or lower order centres. Subsequently, alternative zoning options were required to be considered for this land.


The alternatives now proposed include the B2 Local Centre Zone, B5 Business Development Zone and RE2 Private Recreation Zone. The B2 zone is proposed for land bound by Oak, Hassall, Arthur Streets and James Ruse Drive as this area is currently zoned ‘Business’ under the SREP 28. The RE2 zone is proposed for land south of Grand Avenue North and east of James Ruse Drive where the land is owned by Rosehill Racecourse.


The B5 zone is proposed for land generally bound by James Ruse Drive, Grand Avenue North and Parramatta River and including the former James Hardie site. The B5 zone proposed includes some continuity of uses permissible under SREP 28 zones and provides for a mix of business, warehouse and bulky good retailing uses that could support the regional role of Parramatta CBD, without providing alternative retail opportunities that may impact upon the economic viability of the CBD. The B5 zone was chosen over the similar B6 Enterprise Corridor Zone as it allows the zoning to be tailored to include commercial uses suitable for Camellia, but which may not be appropriate when applied to other B6 sites.


Miscellaneous and Administrative Changes


Since Council last considered the draft LEP a number of relatively minor changes have been required to be made to the LEP document. A summary table of these changes is included as Attachment 6. The majority of changes are as a result of directives from the DoP or are consequential changes as a result of previously discussed amendments.




As has been detailed above, since Council last considered the draft LEP negotiations with the DoP have resulted in the majority of outstanding issues being substantially resolved, at least to a level where the DoP is likely to allow Council to exhibit the draft plan. There are, however, still several potential points of difference with the DoP for which in principle agreement has not been reached. These are discussed further below.


Innominate Uses


The land use tables contained in Part 2 of the draft LEP currently list the objectives of each zone, those uses permitted without consent, those with consent and anything else not listed is prohibited. When displayed in this manner, it is clear and transparent as to what specific land uses are permissible in each particular zone.


The DoP has recently requested that Council prepare its land use tables to nominate those uses that are prohibited then allow all other unnamed (i.e. ‘innominate’) uses as permitted with consent. The reasoning being that this will avoid the need for future spot re-zonings or amendments to allow uses that were not envisaged during the initial LEP preparation.


The preference for this approach was originally identified in a practice note in April 2006.  However, to date this approach has not been consistently applied. In the recently (August 2008) gazetted Liverpool City Centre LEP for example, the land use table is not presented this way. The standard order, as amended, in December 2007 does not format the land use table in this manner either. Additionally, when the draft LEP  was submitted to the DoP in September 2007, this was not raised as an issue. It is only recently that the DoP has advised that this approach is required for all business and industrial zones and that consideration be given to also applying this to the medium and high density residential zones.


The number and range of identified land uses proposed to be permitted in each zone in draft LEP 2008 is considered extensive and broad enough to not hinder development yet still maintain consistency with the broader zone objectives.


The suggested approach will result in land use tables which are difficult to read and confusing if some zoning tables are listed in this way. The directive also appears to be totally inconsistent with one of the broader aims of the standardisation of LEPs, namely for local plans across NSW and to be easier for communities to understand what is planned for their local area and what the zoning controls apply.


Historically, where consent is sought for an ‘undefined’ land use, a pragmatic ‘best-fit’ approach has been taken. For example, when internet café’s first emerged as a land use, there was some ambiguity as to whether they were defined as a shop (café) or a commercial use.


The approach suggested by the DoP creates a greater level of uncertainty as to what is permitted in each zone and this is of particular concern in residential zones. Reliance on zone objectives alone to assess the appropriateness of an unspecified use carries a greater risk of undesirable outcomes.


If the DoP insists on the land use table being modified for at least one zone to be displayed in this manner, it is considered that the industrial zones would likely best be able to accommodate any future undefined land use. This is on the basis that any, as yet unknown, amenity impacts would likely have less effect in an industrial zone. However, in the interests of consistency and readability of the document, the position of listing only those permitted uses, should be maintained as Council’s preferred position.


Child Care Centres Clause


A local clause is proposed in the draft LEP (draft clause 6.3), the aim of which is to limit the areas within the R2 (Low Density) Zone in which childcare centres are permitted. The clause limits the establishment of childcare centres in the R2 zone to those areas that are located within 50 metres of a school, 50 metres of a business zone or 300m from a railway station.


This clause is not currently contained in the LEP, rather it is a provision contained within the current Child Care Centres DCP.


The DoP has advised that the draft clause is permitted to be retained in the draft LEP for exhibition but it will need to be demonstrated that the effect of the clause does not effectively result in the widespread prohibition of child care centres within the R2 Low Density Zone.


A review of the current Child Care Centres DCP is currently being undertaken by Council staff. At such time as this review is presented to Council, the Council be provided with an update and further commentary in relation to this issue.


Places of Public Worship


A local clause is proposed in the draft LEP (draft clause 6.19), the aim of which is to limit the capacity of places of public worship in residential zones to 250 people. The DoP has advised that it supports the intent of this clause, however, it should be a provision within a DCP.


Council has recently resolved to prepare a DCP dealing with places of public worship. This task is currently underway and it is intended to include draft provisions for the establishment of places of public worship within the draft consolidated DCP. It is recommended that until such times as additional DCP provisions relating to places of public worship are developed, that this clause be retained in the LEP.


Sex Services Premises


The location of sex services premises is currently regulated by Parramatta LEP 2001 (Amendment No 13) and SREP 28 for areas outside of the Parramatta City Centre LEP.  Under Parramatta LEP 2001, they are restricted to industrial zones (with the exception of several industrial areas in South Granville, Clyde, Guildford, & Granville excluded under Amendment No 13) and under SREP 28 in industrial and some business zones.


Clause 24 of Parramatta LEP 2001 further limits the areas within the industrial zones where brothels are permissible, by not allowing brothels where they are located within 200m of residences or land zoned residential; or near or within view of a range of sensitive uses such as schools, churches, community facilities, open space or other places frequented by children; or within 50 metres of various public transport facilities.


Council was advised by the DoP that the Minister’s approval of Amendment No 13 to Parramatta LEP 2001 in June 2007 was subject to the existing permissibility of brothel development under SREP 28 not being eroded when the SREP is incorporated into the Parramatta City Centre LEP and draft LEP.


Under the City Centre LEP, sex services premises are permissible in the business zones throughout the city centre, (with the addition of the B4 Mixed Use zone by the Minister when the plan was gazetted, contrary to Council’s adopted position).


Under the draft LEP, sex services premises are proposed to be permissible in industrial zones, based on Amendment 13 and in areas where they are currently permissible under those areas of the SREP that will be incorporated into the draft LEP.


In translating Clause 24 – Brothels, of Parramatta LEP 2001 into the draft LEP, the DoP’s drafting directions have been to avoid use of vague terms such as ‘near or within view of’ to define the areas where sex services premises are to be excluded and also that the clause should not have the effect of prohibiting sex services premises, ie, there need to be a broad enough extent of areas where sex services premises are permissible.


In responding to this direction, Clause 6.2 – Sex Services Premises in the draft LEP proposes a 200 metre distance from churches, schools, child care centres and other sensitive land uses, rather than ‘near or within view from’ such activities.  In addition, the exclusion of sex services premises within 200 metres of residential land and within 50 metres of various public transport facilities is included in the draft clause, reflecting Council’s existing provisions.  Councillors have clearly expressed the view that is the policy decision of Council. However, the DoP will need to be satisfied that these distances do not significantly limit the amount of industrial land where sex services premises are permissible.  It is understood that as Council’s position reflects its current controls, this matter will not impede the certification of the draft plan for exhibition.


Should the DoP require any changes to Council’s adopted position on sex services premises, it is proposed that a further report be presented to Council.  Other potential approaches mentioned by the DoP are the exclusion of sex services premises where they adjoin or are separated only by a road from residential land or sensitive land uses (schools, child care centres etc).




One of the steps that will need to be undertaken after the draft LEP is gazetted, is the integration of the controls of the Parramatta City Centre Local Environmental Plan 2007 (PCCLEP 2007) with the new principal LEP. DoP has indicated a preference that this amalgamation should be undertaken as soon as possible indicating that new legislation for the preparation of LEPs may allow the amalgamation after exhibition of draft Parramatta LEP 2008 but prior to its gazettal. This assumes amalgamation of the two plans would not involve any significant changes to either instrument, but would simply combine the two instruments as an administrative exercise.


While the amalgamation of the instruments is supported, there are potential difficulties associated with this process. For example, the PCCLEP 2007 diverges from the LEP standard template, and is therefore presented in a different format to the draft LEP. Furthermore, while the same zoning titles are used in both instruments, the objectives and land use tables for the same zone/s varies between the two plans. Subsequently, there is some difficulty in ensuring that one consolidated document will deliver zones that can be suitably applied both within the CBD as well as the greater Parramatta local government area (LGA).


With regard to local clauses, potential issues are associated with the specific local clauses applied within the PCCLEP 2007 and subsequent transfer of these to the draft LEP, either as ‘stand alone’ clauses or to be integrated with similar clauses that apply to the rest of the LGA. The administrative process of amalgamating the two planing instruments will not only include the task of merging the two written instruments, but also the amalgamation the associated maps.


Once the PCCLEP 2007 and the comprehensive LEP are integrated, the amalgamation of the subsequent Development Control Plans (DCPs) may also be necessary.


It is recommended that Council commit to the amalgamation of the two plans in principle, and that council officers continue to work with DoP with regard to the manner and timetabling of the amalgamation, also having regard to upcoming legislative changes to the plan making process. Particular matters to be resolved include the potential need to publicly exhibit the amalgamated draft plan, due to the complexities involved in combining the plans and consequent potential variations.




Once Council has endorsed the updated version of draft PLEP 2008, it will be referred to the DoP seeking a s65 certificate. Any significant changes required before Council is able to proceed with the public exhibition of the draft plan will be reported to Council.


A report on updates to the draft Parramatta DCP 2008, which contains the more detailed planning controls and guidelines for development, will also be presented to Council prior to the public exhibition commencing, as it is intended that the draft LEP and DCP be exhibited together.




Since Council last considered the Draft LEP, negotiations with the DoP have resulted in the majority of outstanding issues being substantially resolved, at least to a level where the DoP is likely to allow Council to exhibit the draft plan. There are still several potential points of difference with the DoP for which in principle agreement has not been reached. Council will be updated on these matters when further feedback from the DoP is received.


As the next step in the process, it is recommended that Council endorse the draft LEP and refer it to the DoP seeking the s65 certificate.


[1]It should be noted that there have been ongoing additions and changes to the DoP’s directions for the preparation of draft LEPs under the standard instrument. This has required repeated review of some aspects of the draft LEP. A s65 certificate cannot be issued unless the draft LEP has been prepared in accordance with the standard instrument.


[2] Innominate uses are those land uses which do not fall within any of the definitions in the dictionary of the LEP

[3] Downzoning is when zones are changed to reduce the density of development that is allowed in an area.