"Hands off our LEPs!" campaign
- December 2013: draft LEP now released -
What is a LEP and why is it so important?
(click the image to access a scrollable panorama)
This panorama shows how urban development occurs in close proximity to Blue Mountains National Park.
The current Blue Mountains LEPs contain development guidelines that aim to limit hard surfaces and control impacts from stormwater runoff.
(panorama courtesy of Panedia
A Local Environmental Plan (LEP) determines where development occurs, outlines what needs to be considered when development is proposed (e.g. impacts on the natural environment and cultural heritage) and sets development standards.
LEPs are therefore the major determinant of where future development occurs in the Blue Mountains, what it will look like and how the natural environment and urban character will be protected from adverse development impacts.
There are two current LEPs in the Blue Mountains: LEP 1991 covers areas on the edges of the townships at the urban-bushland (or National Park) interface and LEP 2005 covers urban areas in the townships. A third planning document, LEP No. 4, covers some urban matters deferred when LEP 2005 was gazetted.
In line with NSW Planning department requirements, Blue Mountains City Council has been working to consolidate these three LEPs into a city-wide plan that meets the State government's "one size fits all" Standard Instrument LEP format. You can find out more about the LEP process, and download relevant Council meeting documents, on Council's website here.
A history of the Society's campaign prior to release of the Draft Local Environmental Plan 2013 is archived here.
Public exhibition of Draft LEP 2013
The Blue Mountains Draft Local Environmental Plan 2013 (DLEP) is open for public comment for 13 weeks from Wednesday 4 December 2013 to WEDNESDAY 5 MARCH 2014. Comprehensive information about the DLEP and how to make a submission is available on Blue Mountains City Council's website.
Requests to the Planning Minister to defer exhibition until 2014 because of Council's heavy staff commitment to the bushfire recovery and rebuilding process were not successful. However lobbying by the Society and Blue Mountains City Council did result in an extension of time from the anticipated eight week exhibition period.
You can look at the draft LEP by:
- Viewing a hardcopy at the Blaxland, Springwood and Katoomba libraries or at the Council's Springwood and Katoomba Administrative Offices during business hours.
- Purchasing a USB copy from Council ($10).
- Viewing the Draft LEP online at http://bluemountainshaveyoursay.com.au/draftlep2013
How the Society is responding to DLEP 2013
The Society will be making a detailed submission on environmental issues in DLEP 2013, as well as assisting its members and the Blue Mountains community to make informed comment on environmental matters in the Draft LEP.
The Society is planning a series of events throughout February and early March to inform residents about the draft LEP, and to assist residents if they want to make a submission.
- SEMINAR & SUBMISSION-WRITING WORKSHOP for all Bushcare/Landcare volunteers,
Sunday 9 Feb, 2-4pm at Presbyterian Church (small) hall, 160 Macquarie Rd, Springwood.
RSVP or inquiries to Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile 0418 292 672.
- PUBLIC MEETING & SUBMISSION-WRITING WORKSHOP: Sunday 16 Feb, 2-4pm
at Mavis Wood Hall, Mid Mountains Community Centre, New St, Lawson. For anyone interested in environmental issues in the Draft LEP.
There will be speakers from the Society and Council, followed by Q&A and help with submission-writing.
- INFORMATION STALLS:
- near Blackheath Growers Market (Sun 9 Feb)
- Lawson Magpie Markets (Sun 16 Feb)
- STREET STALLS: Throughout February and early March the Society will be holding street stalls in Blaxland, Springwood, Hazelbrook & Blackheath shopping centres (possibly other locations – see the Society's Facebook page for updates).
Days of the week will vary – generally Wednesday or Friday between 11am and 2pm.
- PRESENTATIONS TO COMMUNITY GROUPS: Would you like the Society to come and give a presentation to your community group or organisation about the environmental provisions in the draft LEP? Contact Sue at email@example.com or mobile 0418 292 672.
Material to assist you in making a submission
Information sheets and guides
The Society is preparing a series of information sheets and guides that will cater for people's various levels of interest in the detail of the Draft LEP.
Some people may only want to find out how the DLEP affects their block, or a block they are interested in, and make a submission on that. Others may just want to make a submission on the "big ticket" environmental issues we have identified in the DLEP.
Still others might want to engage more extensively with the DLEP and put in a detailed submission on a broad range of environmental issues.
Information sheets and guides:
Village-specific information sheets [AVAILABLE LATE JAN/EARLY FEB 2014]
- Katoomba/Leura North
- Katoomba/Leura South
- Possibly others (depending on volunteer availability)
Here is a form letter (pdf) and form letter (Word doc) in a simple format you can use as a basis for your own submission.
Fill in your own comments on what aspects of the Draft LEP you support and what you disagree with or want strengthened or added in.
Here are detailed submission letters (Word doc) with spaces to fill in your personal details and comments. Version for residents of the Blue Mountains. Version for regular visitors to the Blue Mountains.
More information sheets and guides may be provided if there is an identified need.
Viewing the DLEP online
Here is a brief "user's guide" to the information available online at the Council's website above and how to find it. You may want to read the general information provided by the Council before looking at the Draft LEP written instrument and related documents (in Library).
- If you are interested in how the new LEP will affect your block or a block that you are interested in, go to 'How will the new LEP affect me', 'How do I read the maps?, 'How can I find out what my property will be zoned' and 'What is a Land Use Matrix' in General Information.
- If you want more detailed information about the LEP structure and process or other aspects of the draft LEP, there is a series of Fact Sheets and other resources in the Library (click on 'more' to see full listing). You can:
If you want to look at the background studies including the Residential Development Strategy, Subdivision Strategy Review, and Rural Lands Planning Study (which also includes the critical LEP 1991 Bushland Conservation environmental buffer zone) you will find them under 'Planning Proposal' in the Library (you will need to click on 'more').
- find a general explanation of the new zones in Fact Sheet 10 and more detailed descriptions in Fact Sheets 12 to 16
- compare the old and new zones by looking at the Land Use Comparison Table in the Library (click on 'more') and Fact Sheet 10
- compare old and new LEP clauses in Fact Sheet 6
- find out what development is prohibited and permitted in the new zones by looking at the Land Use Matrix in the Library, and in the Fact Sheets relating to specific zones (above)
- read about the mapping used in the DLEP in Fact Sheet 9, and significant vegetation mapping in Fact Sheet 29
- find out about the subdivision provisions in the DLEP in Fact Sheets 19 and 22
- find out about development on bush fire prone land in Fact Sheet 20
- find out what will happen to the current Development Control Plans in Fact Sheet 31
- find general information about the state government's planning framework, the structure and process of the new LEP, what's in the DLEP and definitions of terms used in the DLEP in Fact Sheets 1 to 7.
- find out about how to make a submission and what happens next under General Information. You will need to click on 'more' to see the full listing of topics. Also refer to Fact Sheet 8 'How to make a submission' which also contains 'helpful hints' and a submission template.
Some of these are very large documents so you may want instead to view hardcopies at a library or Council Administrative Office, or purchase a USB copy. These studies informed the development of the Draft LEP and you may wish to comment on them in your submission.
REMEMBER SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY WEDNESDAY 5 MARCH 2014.
The Society's information sheets and guides include instructions on how to make a submission, but you can also find this information on the Council's website at http://bluemountainshaveyoursay.com.au/draftlep2013