Item 8.1 - Attachment 1

Detailed Report


ATTACHMENT 1                 Detailed Report




Council adopted the draft Parramatta Local Environmental Plan (LEP) on 23 March 2009 for the purposes of seeking a section 65 (s65) certificate from the Department of Planning (DoP) to enable the plan to proceed to public exhibition.


Council also resolved to carry out an informal public information process to display the draft LEP prior to the formal public exhibition. A ‘community update’ to display the LEP in accordance with this resolution was held between 20 July and 24 August 2009. Councillors have received separate advice advising of the outcomes of this process. The Community Update period generated 3,570 web hits to access draft LEP information, 110 telephone calls, 207 visits to the community information displays and 7 written submissions.


On 10 August 2009, the Minister for Planning issued a list of Councils whose draft LEPs are being prioritised. Parramatta City Council is one of twenty three (23) metropolitan Councils on the prioritised list, which additionally includes forty four (44) prioritised rural and regional Councils. This means that the DoP will commit resources to achieving gazettal of these LEPs over the next two years.


Council has received a conditional s65 certificate dated 26 October 2009, with covering letter from the DoP (Attachment 2). Councillors received a copy of this with covering memo dated 28 October 2009 in their Councillor Information booklet. 


Additionally, the DoP has advised that certain matters that have not been certified in the draft LEP may be submitted as separate Planning Proposals to incorporate them as a later amendment to the LEP (latter part of Attachment 2). These are discussed in a later section of this report.




The conditions of the s65 certificate relate to the following:

-     amendment of the draft LEP written instrument as shown in Attachment 4

-     amendment of the draft LEP maps

These amendments are required to be made prior to exhibition of the draft LEP, such that the draft plan meets the conditions of the certificate when placed on public exhibition.


The s65 certificate itself does not give clear direction as to the amendments required to the maps. Clarification was sought from the DoP and was provided by letter dated 11 November 2009 (Attachment 3).


The key changes are as follows:


1.   The DoP advises Sex Services Premises (Clause 6.2) and LEP maps cannot specify ‘sub-zones’ by mapping only some industrial zones where sex services premises will be permissible.  The DoP requires sex services premises to be permissible in all industrial zones, subject to the locational restrictions of Clause 6.2.

Staff comment: Sex services premises will also be further subject to Council’s DCP requirements. The numerical separation standards in the LEP, for example 200 metres from residential land, are development standards. Applicants will be able to seek to vary these standards, subject to justification.

2. The DoP will not permit Clause 6.15 ‘Places of Public worship’ – limiting size to 250 seats as an LEP provision. The DoP has removed this clause from the certified draft LEP.  However, the DoP has agreed with the removal of Places of Public Worship as a permissible use in the R2 Low Density Residential zone.

Staff comment: Council has resolved to include a maximum capacity of 250 for places of public worship in the draft DCP.

3. The DoP requires all land reclassifications proposed in Schedule 4 to be removed and that Council owned land rezonings and reclassifications are to be the subject of a separate process as a later amendment to the LEP. This is discussed in more detail later in this report.

4. The DoP has removed Council’s proposed Clause 4.1A specifying minimum lot size for the erection of a dwelling house and has replaced this clause with the standard instrument clause 4.1, which specifies a minimum subdivision lot size with an accompanying minimum lot size map (which will need to be prepared). The map will show a minimum lot size of 550 sqm for all residential land (the clause is relied on to distinguish the minimum lot size of 670sqm for a battle axe lot).

Staff comment: Council’s preferred non-standard clause would have avoided the need for a map. 

5. The DoP has made minor modifications to the land use table, such as not listing land uses where a State Environmental Planning Policy permits the land use eg health consulting rooms and also to correct some inconsistencies that were identified.  These changes can be seen in the draft LEP written instrument identifying DoP changes at Attachment 4.         

6. The DoP has amended the land use table structure for Business and Industrial zones to list all prohibited land uses, and if not listed, a land use becomes permissible with consent. The DoP has confirmed it is requiring this format for the Standard Instrument LEPs it is certifying. It is a way of reducing the need for spot rezonings in zones where land use sensitivity is less of an issue than other zones such as residential.

Staff comment: The alternate way of representing the land use table for the business and industrial zones, where the default is that a land use is prohibited unless listed as permissible with or without consent, would have been preferred if the DoP would allow.

7.  The DoP requires that Clause 6.12 ‘Development in Recreation zones’ be deleted. This local clause relates to matters for consideration for development in RE1 Public Recreation and RE2 Private Recreation zones.

Staff comment: In general, zones do not have specific considerations spelt out in a special clause. The deletion of this clause is not regarded as significant and does not preclude consideration of the matters listed when determining a DA.

8. The DoP requires that Clause 6.13 ‘Development on land abutting an environmental conservation zone’ be deleted. This local clause relates to matters for consideration, including a building setback, for development of land abutting land within the E2 Environmental Conservation zone.

Staff comment:  In general, zones do not have specific considerations spelt out in a special clause. The deletion of this clause is not regarded as significant and does not preclude consideration of the matters listed when determining a DA.

9. The DoP requires that Clause 6.5 ‘Access to development on Classified Roads’ be deleted.

Staff comment: This local clause was proposed to enable alternative access to facilitate development, despite the zoning of that land, in circumstances where the only other viable form of access to the land would be via a classified road. There would not be many circumstances where this clause would be applied, so its deletion is not highly significant.

10. The DoP requires that Clause 6.14 ‘Variation of floor space ratio when providing public access’ be amended and renamed ‘Incentive for the provision of improved public domain and access’. This clause allows for increased floor space where a desirable pedestrian, cycle or vehicular access link is provided. The DoP has also added that a floor space bonus may be considered if ‘the form of site planning, building form and external appearance of the development will improve the quality and amenity of the public domain’. Additionally, the DoP has added that an Urban Design Excellence Panel will determine whether the criteria spelt out in the clause are satisfied.

Staff comment: The maximum floor space increase is represented by 50% of the site area to be used for public domain and access purposes. This will be more difficult to measure in relation to the public domain criteria added to the clause by the DoP. This clause can be investigated further during the public exhibition as to how it may be successfully implemented.  Council may wish to make a submission to the DoP in relation to this clause following the public exhibition.

11. In Clause 6.3 Restricted Premises  the DoP requires minor wording amendments required to remove provisions in subclause 3 that are covered in subclause 4 (these relate to taking into account of the impact the development would have on any place that is regularly frequented by children for educational, recreational or cultural activities).

Staff comment: The intent of the clause is retained.

Mapping changes

12.  Epping Town Centre:

The DoP requires the removal of the draft Epping Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) amendments and the four proposed new heritage items in the Epping Town Centre study area. These are not included in the certified draft LEP.  The DoP advises these will be considered as part of the joint planning work with Hornsby Council and the DoP.

Staff Comment: The DoP has not excluded the zoning, height and floor space ratio (FSR) controls for the Town Centre business zone adopted by Council which are therefore included in the draft LEP for public exhibition.

13. The DoP requires the removal of the B4 mixed use zoning from the precinct generally east of Rydalmere Station, which Council proposed to rezone from Trade and Industry Support. Rezoning of this precinct to B4 is not included in the certified draft LEP.

Staff comment: The DoP has advised that this would need to proceed as a separate planning proposal to amend the LEP at a future date, provided supporting information justifies this proposal, addressing amongst other things the loss of employment land; the impact and siting of any permissible residential development; potential land use conflicts and possible contamination issues.


14. DoP requires mapping changes for the E2 Environmental Conservation zone such that where part of a lot or a parcel of lots owned by Council contains a mix of public recreation and conservation functions, these lots must be zoned wholly as RE1 Public Recreation.


Staff comment: An example of a reserve where this will apply is Campbell Hill Pioneer Reserve in Guildford. Whilst the RE1 zone contains objectives to protect and enhance the natural environment, this relates to the use of the reserve for recreational purposes. The E2 Environmental Conservation zone is considered to be more appropriate for the protection of bushland conservation areas within these reserves. Council may wish to make a submission to the DoP in relation to this matter following the public exhibition.


15. The DoP requires that the former Moxham Quarry site at 166 Windsor Road Northmead , which Council proposes to zone as E2 Environmental Conservation (as a translation of the current Environmental Protection zone) must be zoned either E3 Environmental Management or RE2 Private Recreation.


Staff comment: An E3 zone is a better match for the conservation objectives for this land and it is recommended that Council adopt an E3 zone for the purposes of the public exhibition.


Councillor Working Group and Workshop Draft LEP proposals:

Attachment 5 outlines the proposals included in the draft LEP when it was adopted on 23 March 2009 and referred to the DoP for certification that were the outcome of Ward working groups and a Councillor workshop held early 2009. The DoP has excluded a few of these proposals from the certified draft LEP.  Attachment 5 indicates which can be included and which are to be removed as a result of the issuing of the s65 certificate.                                   



The DoP continues to release new procedural directions which must be followed in the mapping and zoning of certain lands and technical standards for the maps. The DoP advises that several practice notes, yet to be released, will need to be complied with after the public exhibition before Council refers the final draft LEP to the Minister for the making of the plan. This includes the numbering system for heritage listed items, the zoning of special use zones and the extent of zoning of waterways.



There are a number of proposals Council included with its submission that the DoP advises cannot proceed as part of the certified draft LEP. These can be put to the Department as later amendments, following the new procedures for amendment to an LEP by preparing a Planning Proposal.

§ Council owned land rezonings/reclassifications  - These can proceed as a separate planning proposal whilst the draft LEP continues to be processed. This will mean that by the time the draft LEP is ready to be finalised and gazetted, the Council owned land proposals may also be ready for inclusion in the LEP once it is gazetted.

§ Rydalmere B4 draft planning controls – this will require further planning studies as outlined previously. This work will need to be included in the Land Use Team work program.



The draft LEP, with amendments to meet the DoP’s certification requirements, will be in the main very similar to that which was placed on display during the community update in August 2009. The community update was held over a period of 5 weeks.


It is evident from the statistics collected from the community update display outlined above in the background this report, that the main medium accessed for information was Council’s web site. The availability of information in printed copy at all Council’s libraries (plus Epping library) and at Council’s offices makes the information accessible to community members without access to a computer and the internet. A dedicated phone information line for enquiries also enables direct contact with Council staff to answer enquiries.


Exhibition displays at community venues are very labour intensive and staff attend these out of hours. Numbers of the public attending these venues (on average 40 people per session at the recent Community Update displays) raises an issue of cost benefit. Week day sessions held late afternoon to early evening were as well, if not better attended than Saturday sessions and should Council wish to hold such sessions in the future, it would be recommended that week day afternoon/early evening sessions be held rather than Saturdays.  It is suggested however, that these sessions could be omitted from the forthcoming public exhibition of the draft LEP given the recency of the Community Update display.


It is proposed that the public exhibition of the draft LEP be for a minimum of 6 weeks. This is in excess of the statutory requirement of 28 days. The components of the public exhibition are recommended to include:

-     A letter to all ratepayers

-     Letter to relevant public authorities and agencies

-     Advertisements in the local newspapers

-     Exhibition material on Council’s web site, in all Council libraries, Epping library and the Parramatta City Council offices

-     A dedicated phone line for enquiries to be answered by Council’s planning officers.


The lead time to prepare for the public exhibition, once Council endorses this, is approximately 4 - 6 weeks to allow time to prepare revised maps and documentation for the exhibition, including printing and delivery of a mail out letter to in excess of 55,000 rate payers. Council’s notification policy precludes exhibition of proposals over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.  It will therefore not possible to commence the public exhibition this year. However, it should be possible to commence the exhibition in the early months of next year.



During the public exhibition, the DoP has requested that Council consult with a group of public authorities that were not consulted at section 62 stage. These are outlined in Attachment 2.