Environment zones are being renamed to Conservation zones under new State wide changes to the Local Environmental Plan.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has renamed the Environmental Zones. They will now be referred to as Conservation Zones across NSW.
As of 1 December 2021, a reference to an Environment Protection zone E1, E2, E3 or E4 in a document should be taken to be a reference to a Conservation zone C1, C2, C3 or C4. For further information please see Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Land Use Zones) Order 2021.
Changes Being Made
The table below explains the changes that are being made:
|Zone E1 – National Parks and Nature Reserves||Zone C1 – National Parks and Nature Reserves|
|Zone E2 – Environmental Conservation||Zone C2 – Environmental Conservation|
|Zone E3 – Environmental Management||Zone C3 – Environmental Management|
|Zone E4 – Environmental Living||Zone C4 – Environmental Living|
Download the Re-Naming 'Environment Zones' Frequently Asked Questions or view below.
Download the Conservation Zones Fact Sheet.
If you have any questions please email the Growth Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Re-Naming 'Environment Zones' Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any changes to the matters I need to address for land in a Conservation Zone when preparing a planning proposal?
No. There is no change in the matters that you need to address for the new conservation zones. This is an administrative change of name only.
A heritage conservation area is an area recognised and valued for its special historical and aesthetic character. Heritage conservation areas are listed in part 2, schedule 5 of your council’s standard instrument local environmental plan. Changing the name of environment zones to conservation zones does not impact this, or change any listing applying to your land. It also doesn’t list your property as a heritage conservation area.
The name change does not alter the recommendations of the Northern councils E Zone Review. Please note that following the making of Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Land Use Zones) Order 2021 the reference to an environment protection zone in the Northern Councils E Zone Review Final Recommendations Report should be taken to be a reference to the equivalent conservation zone.
The change will come in on 1 December 2021.
No action is required from landowners for this name change. The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is making this change which will automatically amend the local environmental plan that sets the land use zone for your land.
This change will not affect the planning proposal assessment and determination process. If you have an environment zone in your planning proposal, the stage your planning proposal is at will determine if you need to take any action.
Developing your Planning Proposal with Council (prior to receiving a Gateway determination)
If you are in the process of developing your planning proposal (but have not yet lodged it with council), use the new zone names. If you have submitted your planning proposal to council after the change comes into effect, you will need to talk to council about revising your proposal to use the new zone names.
Planning Proposal is with the Department (Gateway Stage)
If your planning proposal is already being considered and part way through the gateway process when the changes come into effect, the department can condition this prior to public exhibition. You may be required, as a condition of the gateway determination, to update the proposal with the new zone names prior to public exhibition.
If your planning proposal is on public exhibition when the changes come into effect, a notice can be placed on the planning portal that states any reference to an environment zone is taken to mean the equivalent conservation zone. This is at the discretion of the planning proposal authority.
Making of the LEP
The plan making authority can amend the LEP as appropriate to reflect the new zone names.
This change is purely administrative and of name only. There are no changes to what can be carried out on your land, or the development consent process.
If you own land that is currently zoned one of the environment zones, you may have copies of planning documents relating to your land that refer to an environment zone.
In the coming months, councils will be updating their plans, forms, and documents to reflect the changed zone name. Any reference to the environment protection zones will be taken to now mean an equivalent conservation zone.
Planning certificates state all the relevant planning instruments that apply to the property. Planning certificates are correct as of the date of issue as the zoning of land and development controls change frequently. It is usual to rely on a planning certificate for up to 3 months from the date of issue, but an up to date certificate is essential for conveyancing matters.
The amendment order provides that a reference to an environment zone is taken to be a reference to the equivalent ‘conservation zone’ in any environmental planning instrument or other document. Therefore, planning certificates that refer to environment zones are not invalidated because of the zone name change.
Environment zones are being renamed as ‘conservation zones’ in clause 2.1 Land use zones of the Standard Instrument—Principal Local Environmental Plan.
The new conservation zones will be:
- Zone C1 – National Parks and Nature Reserves
- Zone C2 – Environmental Conservation
- Zone C3 – Environmental Management
- Zone C4 – Environmental Living
The objectives and land use tables remain the same across all zones. Only the prefix and zone category are changing.
This change is coming into effect on 1 December 2021. This is after the Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Land Use Zones) Order 2021 (Amendment Order) is made.
The department recognises the great work councils are currently doing with the broad number of planning reforms underway. The department will provide advice directly to councils on updating documentation and informing to landholders of these changes. This support may include templates and wording.
Councils’ local environmental plans will be updated through the amendment order to the Standard Instrument Principal Environmental Plan. Councils will not need to update their LEPs to reflect the name change.
Broadly, councils will:
- update any council templates, policies, and procedures to reflect the new zone name
- place a notice advising that a reference to an environment zone is taken to be a reference to a conservation zone when using these documents. This notice should be placed where the documents are downloaded from council’s website.
- inform landholders of the change
- update council’s property information system used to generate planning certificates to reflect the new zone names.
The department will provide advice direct to councils on updating documentation and providing advice to landholders.
The name ‘environment protection zone’ is too broad and is open to multiple interpretations which can cause confusion about the purpose, intent, and objectives of the zone. ‘Conservation’ clearly signals that this zone is about conserving the environmental values and natural qualities in areas where it applies.
The existing land use tables remain unchanged. The only change is the prefix to the zone name from an ‘E’ to a ‘C’ and the change of the zone heading under clause 2.1 of the Standard Instrument—Principal Local Environmental Plan. This name change means that references to the environment zones in other environmental planning instruments is taken to be a reference to the equivalent conservation zone.