Ballina’s LEP into the future

Imagine trying to make your way around town using a 1987 street directory in your 1987 car wearing your 1987 clothes listening to 1987 music?

GPS was a futuristic fantasy, your car would possibly have had a carburettor and wind-up windows, Kylie Minogue would have been topping the charts with ‘Locomotion’ and let’s say no more about the fashions …

You’d be long overdue for an update. Similarly, Ballina Shire Council realises that land use planning has changed since 1987.

In consultation with the community it has reviewed its local environmental plan (LEP) released in that year, and is seeking comments on its new Draft Ballina Local Environmental Plan 2010 until Friday, 4 June.

An LEP is the main way that development and land use in a local government area is regulated.

Each shire or city in New South Wales has its own LEP and these are statutory plans, making them legally binding.

LEPs set out controls that must be adhered to in relation to land use planning.

LEPs comprise two key elements:

  • A written document that sets out development and land use controls, and
  • A set of zoning maps.

The written document typically contains land use tables that relate to the maps and a series of special provisions that specify what may and may not be done for particular aspects or types of development.

The need for a new LEP

There are two reasons for preparing a new LEP. Firstly, the range of land use and development issues and considerations have changed significantly since the last LEP came into force in 1987, and the new LEP needs to reflect this.

Secondly, the State Government has instructed all local councils to prepare fresh, comprehensive LEPs using a standardised format for their LEP.

The new document is expected to set the framework for development in Ballina for at least the next 20 years.

Ballina Council says it is already well-advanced in this field, having released ‘People, Place, Prosperity: A framework for a more sustainable Ballina Shire 2025’, which identifies the values, visions and desires of the community for the shire, over a time period similar to that of the anticipated life of the new LEP.

Major features of the new LEP

The council says the draft LEP is not radically different from the 1987 one, although it is now based on a standard plan introduced by the State Government.

All land in the shire will receive a new zone and a new set of planning controls, although in most cases there is limited change to development potential.

There is also a greater emphasis on a comprehensive set of maps to show the various zonings.

There are also new names for the zones that cover rural and primary production zones, residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, environmental and waterway zones.

Timing for the project

  • 2006 – initial planning and approvals to start the process.
  • 2007 – preparation and exhibition of Discussion Papers.
  • 2008 / 09 – technical drafting and mapping.
  • 2010 – approval of Draft Plan and public exhibition.
  • 2010 – anticipated completion of the LEP.
  • 2011 – anticipated Ministerial approval, and implementation.

For more information and to make a submission:

  • Visit
  • Phone 6681 1163 or email
  • Subscribe to the council’s new Community Connect service at
  • Check your local newspapers for information.

Exhibition materials will be on display from Monday, 15 March, to Friday, 4 June, during business hours at:

  • Ballina Shire Council Customer Service Centre (formal exhibition location), corner Tamar and Cherry streets, Ballina.
  • Ballina Library, River Street, Ballina.
  • Ballina Community Services Centre, Bangalow Road, Ballina
  • Alstonville Library, Commercial Road, Alstonville
  • Wardell Community Centre, Sinclair Street, Wardell
  • Lennox Head Library
  • Mackney Lane, Lennox Head.

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