Land Zoning

Councils use zoning to designate areas within their local government areas suitable for residential, commercial and industrial activities and development. Zoning helps councils bring about orderly growth, manage change and help protect special areas, such as heritage conservation areas and areas with high ecological values, from inappropriate development.

If you are planning to develop (eg. build a granny flat) or use a premises (eg. cafĂ©), the property's zoning determines whether your development is permissible (allowable) or prohibited on that land. An environmental planning instrument, such as a Local Environmental Plan (LEP), will specify the zoning of every property in the area it applies to.

How do I Identify my property's zoning?

In order to identify your properties land zoning you can either use the NSW Planning Portal by going to “Find a Property” on the home page and searching an address, or you can apply for a  Planning Certificate  from Council.

Note: Council cannot confirm the zoning of a property over the phone or by email.

Is my development permitted or prohibited?

Once you know the property's zoning, you will need to review the Hawkesbury Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2012 as follows:

1. View the Hawkesbury LEP 2012 on the NSW legislation website.

2. Go to the Dictionary and check which definition matches your development proposal.

3. View the Land Use Table to see if your development is permitted (with consent) or prohibited

Some properties have additional permitted development (with consent) where the zoning would ordinarily prohibit the development – check Schedule 1 Additional Permitted Uses

My development is permitted:

If your development is permitted, the next step is to check what approvals you require  to lawfully carry out your development.

My development is prohibited:

If your development is prohibited, you cannot get development consent for the development on the property.

Note: The Land Use Table provides a list of land use definitions that are permitted (with consent) or prohibited in each zone. For example, in a R2 Low Density Residential zone, a 'dwelling house' is listed as permitted (with consent). Using 'dwelling house' as an example, development that is ancillary to a dwelling house (eg. pool, fence, driveway) is considered to be permitted by the zoning as the individual developments serve the purpose of the dwelling house.

For some developments, zoning and development permissibility can be complex and difficult to accurately identify (read Planning Circular: How to characterise development). As such, we recommend you get professional advice from a suitably qualified town planning consultant.

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