Towards 2040 submissions under review


Project updates

21 January 2020

Council received and reviewed a total of 337 submissions (321 public submissions and feedback from 16 NSW Government agencies), following public exhibition process.

Council also met with the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) and NSW Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment (the Department) on the 12th November 2019 for a preliminary review of Towards 2040 – the draft local strategic planning statement. A further technical health check with the GSC is scheduled on the 4th February 2020 – ahead of it being reported back to Council.

Community engagement outcomes and Council’s proposed response to the feedback received will be reported back to Council, together with the draft final Towards 2040 – local strategic planning statement, on the 25th February 2020.

Following Council’s endorsement of Towards 2040, it will be submitted to the GSC for its final approval. Upon receipt of a letter of support from the GSC, the LSPS can be made by Council.


11 November 2019

Public exhibition of the draft Statement closed on the 10th of November and we received over 320 public submissions, all of which are being reviewed and considered. A community consultation report is being prepared and will accompany the report back to Council on the draft Statement public exhibition.

Council has also recently met with the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) and NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) for a preliminary review of the draft Statement, an important step in the GSC Assurance Program.

A further technical health check will be completed with the District Commissioner, GSC, DPIE and relevant agencies in early 2020 ahead of the final Towards 2040 being reported back to Council in February 2020.


If you have any enquiries, please contact us on 1300 434 434 and ask to speak with the Strategic and Place Planning Team.


It’s important the Northern Beaches community understand the changes coming to the way that we manage planning.

Between 2018 and 2021 Council is creating a new roadmap for managing the way the Northern Beaches evolves over the next 20 years and beyond.

We are working towards a single planning framework for the Northern Beaches to replace our current four Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) and four Development Control Plans (DCPs).

To accommodate our evolving community and manage future growth on the Beaches, we need to think about how our places are planned and built.

Our vision for the future is mapped out in Towards 2040, the Northern Beaches draft local strategic planning statement, on public exhibition from Friday 27 September to Sunday 10 November 2019.

Introduction video

Engagement results

Check out what we've heard so far


Towards 2040 is the Northern Beaches Council’s first Local Strategic Planning Statement. It outlines the Northern Beaches’ direction for housing, employment, transport, recreation, environment and infrastructure over the next 20 years. It will help guide future land use decisions through planning priorities, principles and actions that build on the strengths and opportunities for the Northern Beaches as well as addressing key issues and challenges.

The requirements for local strategic planning statements are set out in Section 3.9 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. At a minimum, the local strategic planning statement must include the following:

  • the basis of strategic planning in the area, having regard to economic social and environmental matters
  • planning priorities for the area that are consistent with any strategic plan for the area and the applicable community strategic plan
  • actions required for achieving those planning priorities
  • the basis on which Council is to monitor and report on the implementation of those actions.
The local strategic planning statement is required to be consistent with higher level plans including the Greater Sydney Commission’s (GSC) Greater Sydney Region Plan – A Metropolis of Three Cities (region plan) and the North District Plan (district plan). It also builds on the 10-year vision, local values and aspirations set out in the Community Strategic Plan, Shape 2028.

Amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 in March 2018 require all NSW councils to prepare a local strategic planning statement. A draft local strategic planning statement is required to be placed on public exhibition by 1 October 2019.

Towards 2040 will inform decisions about strategic land use planning including the assessment of planning proposals to rezone land and the preparation of Council’s new Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP). It will also inform broader policies and strategies, such as Council’s local housing strategy.

Together, these documents will provide a comprehensive and consistent planning framework.

Towards 2040 will also form the basis of collaborative and advocative planning work undertaken with the NSW Government and other relevant stakeholders.

Towards 2040 builds on the strategic directions set out in the Greater Sydney Commission’s Greater Sydney Region Plan – A Metropolis of Three Cities (region plan) and the North District Plan (district plan). It also builds on Council’s community strategic plan, Shape 2028.

Towards 2040 was developed through a comprehensive community engagement program which included:

  • a review of community engagement outcomes across 47 Northern Beaches Council projects between 2016 and 2019
  • an analysis of Placescore town centre insights of over 3,198 survey responses
  • a community preferences survey (172 responses) and a draft priority testing survey (245 responses)
  • a community workshop with over 40 attendees
  • seven focus groups with 51 participants.
Towards 2040 integrates the emerging evidence from the technical studies that are underway, including:
  • Demographic analysis
  • Local housing strategy
  • Employment study
  • Environment study
  • Social infrastructure study

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 requires councils to review and update their local strategic planning statement at least every seven years. However, Council can choose to update the document more often.

You can 'follow' the Your Say page to receive updates on the progress of Towards 2040 and information on community engagement activities as they happen.

Towards 2040 is on public exhibition until 10 November 2019. You can make a submission on the Your Say page, via mail (PO Box 82 Manly NSW 1655 Australia) or email (

You can also fill-in the quick or detailed survey on the Your Say page.

We will review all submissions and report the outcomes to Council for consideration.

All NSW councils are required to have the final local strategic planning statement endorsed by the Greater Sydney Commission and made by Council by 31 March 2020.

A Local Environmental Plan (LEP) is the main tool used to control development of land in a local government area.

It does this through land use zoning and development controls, which provide a framework for the way land can be used.

An LEP is prepared by Council but must be approved by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Council is currently preparing a new LEP for the Northern Beaches LGA.

You can see our current LEP’s here.

A Development Control Plan (DCP) provides detailed local planning and design guidelines to support the planning controls in a Local Environment Plan (LEP).

The DCP includes controls for things like building design, building setbacks, landscaping, privacy, car parking, and waste management for all the different types of development.

DCP provisions are prepared by Council and approved by Council following public consultation.

Council is currently preparing a new DCP for the Northern Beaches LGA.

You can see our current DCP’s here.

Currently, the Northern Beaches has four Local Environmental Plans (LEPs), Manly LEP 2013, Pittwater LEP 2014, Warringah LEP 2000 and LEP 2011), each with their own Development Control Plan (DCP).

This means that there are four different approaches to planning across the Northern Beaches. This is confusing and unsustainable in the longer term.

Changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 in March 2018 require all NSW Councils to review their Local Environmental Plans to give effect to the new district plans within 2-3 years (i.e. by June 2021).

The review process provides a great opportunity to establish a strategic planning vision for the Northern Beaches - a roadmap for managing growth and change, in a consistent, sustainable and coordinated way, over the next 20 years and beyond.

A local housing strategy is a document prepared by Council to identify current and future housing needs and to establish a plan for accommodating future housing growth to meet those needs.

The Greater Sydney Commission has established short term (5 year) housing targets for councils under the relevant district plan. Council is required to prepare a local housing strategy to address short term targets as well as plan for housing in the medium and longer term.

The local housing strategy provides an opportunity for Council and the community to influence how and where we will grow.

In developing a local housing strategy, councils will consider evidence including demographic factors (trends and projections), the supply and demand for housing, and local land use opportunities and constraints, amongst other factors.

Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. However, they are different things.

Housing affordability:

Relates to the general affordability of both rental and purchase housing on the open market, and is not limited to those on low to moderate incomes.

Affordable housing:

Affordable housing refers to homes for very low income households, low income households or moderate income households. This is often provided through a housing assistance program that provides rental dwellings for a specified level of below market rent price.

As a rule of thumb, housing is usually considered affordable if it costs less than 30% of gross household income.

The Greater Sydney Commission is the statutory body responsible for planning for the future growth of the Sydney Region.

They produced the Greater Sydney Region Plan – A Metropolis of Three Cities (region plan) and the North District Plan (district plan), with which Council’s plans must align.

You can visit their website here.

The North District Plan (district plan) is the Greater Sydney Commission’s plan for the North District.

The North District covers City of Ryde, Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Mosman, North Sydney, Willoughby and the Northern Beaches.

It is a 20-year plan to manage growth and covers economic, social and environmental matters of the North District. It is the plan we must give effect to, which means our strategic planning must align with this plan. The plan includes actions and priorities around four themes of liveability, productivity, infrastructure and environment. Some of these actions include targets for housing, employment and the environment. You can read the plan here.

The NSW Government and the Greater Sydney Commission directed all NSW councils, through amendments the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, to make sure the local strategic planning statement align with the region plan and relevant district plan. This will provide a clear line-of-sight and connection between the region and district plan and what this means at the local level.

The Community Strategic Plan (CSP) is a long-term strategic plan that all NSW councils must develop on behalf of their communities in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1993. It is a shared vision of what the Northern Beaches community values and aspires to for the next ten years.

Council’s CSP ‘Shape 2028’ was adopted by Council in 2018 following extensive community consultation. It will guide and inform our decisions in developing our four year Delivery Program and annual Operational Plans that together detail the specific actions that we will take to achieve the strategies and objectives in the CSP

The local strategic planning statement is focused on land use planning; whilst the community strategic plan is focused on the direction of all of Councils functions.

Towards 2040 is consistent with Shape 2028, however, it does not duplicate the content as it is more focused on land use planning.

Council, in consultation with the community, will develop the following:

  • Towards 2040 (the local strategic planning statement)
  • Local Environmental Plan (LEP)
  • Development Control Plan (DCP)
  • Local Housing Strategy
  • A range of studies and investigations

It is paramount that the decisions made as a community are supported by expert evidence.

Council is preparing the following studies:

  • Demographic Analysis (complete)
  • Employment Study (underway)
  • Local Housing Strategy (underway)
  • Social Infrastructure Study (underway)
  • Environment Study (underway)
  • Transport Investigations
  • Local Character Study

We will also undertake more studies or investigations where required.

These studies will help to inform decisions made about a range of planning matters.