Local Environmental Plans (LEP)

The Newcastle Local Environmental Plan 2012 (LEP) is a legal document that provides rules and standards for uses on private and public land within the City of Newcastle local government area. The LEP is made up of a written document (instrument) and a series of accompanying maps.

How to view the LEP

The Newcastle Local Environmental Plan 2012 is located on the NSW Legislation website, which consists of both a written document and supporting maps.

To view a particular map you will need to determine the map type (eg. LZN for land zoning, FSR for floor space ratio, HOB for height of buildings, etc) and the location code (eg. _004C), which is based on a map grid, set by the Department of Planning and Environment.

Once you have identified the applicable location code (eg. 004C) it will be the same for each map type.

Alternatively, the NSW Government has created a Planning Portal.  Here you can easily find information about a specific property, including planning rules, controls and development constraints.  The results direct you to an interactive map called a planning viewer which maps the planning controls affecting the property.

Interpreting LEP maps

A brief explanation of the application of each map type is provided below:

The Land Zoning (Map Prefix: LZN_)

The zoning of land controls, what uses and activities are permitted or prohibited on a parcel of land and sets objectives for land within that zone.

Floor Space Ratio (FSR) (Map Prefix: FSR_)

The maximum FSR of buildings on a site is the ratio of the gross floor area of all buildings within the site, expressed as a factor of 1.  That is the total floor area on all levels of the building, minus any exclusions provided for in the definition of gross floor area, divided by the site area.

For example:

site area = 600m2
gross floor area = 300m2
calculation = 300m2 divided by 600m2 = 0.5

This provides for a floor space ratio of 0.5:1

See the 'Dictionary' in Newcastle LEP 2012 for a definition of ‘gross floor area'.

The maximum floor space ratio for a building is not to exceed the floor space ratio specified in the maps, except as where specified in the written document (ie. the Newcastle LEP 2012).

Height of Buildings (Map Prefix: HOB_)

The 'building height' or 'height of building' means the vertical distance between ground level (existing) and the highest point of the building, including plant and lift overruns, but excluding communication devices, antennae, satellite dishes, masts, flagpoles, chimneys, flues and the like.  The 'height of a building' on any land is not to exceed the maximum height shown for the land on the map, except where specified in the written document (ie. the Newcastle LEP 2012).

Where no maximum height is identified in the map (eg. heritage conservation areas), the design of development should be taken from the height of surrounding development.

Lot Size (Map Prefix: LSZ_)

The size of any lot resulting from a subdivision of land to which this clause applies is not to be less than the minimum size shown on the map, except as where specified in the written document (ie. the Newcastle LEP 2012).

Heritage (Map Prefix: HER_)

The maps identify:

  • conservation areas
  • heritage items
  • archaeological items
  • landscape items

that have heritage significance.  Proposed developments must take into consideration the relevant clauses of the Newcastle LEP 2012.

Acid Sulfate Soils (Map Prefix: ASS_)

Soils containing highly acidic soil layers resulting from the aeration of soil materials that are rich in iron sulphides, primarily pyrite.  Newcastle LEP 2012 provides further guidance as to when an Acid Sulfate Plan is required.

Wickham Redevelopment Area (Map Prefix: WRA_)

Land identified in the map is subject to specific controls in the Newcastle LEP 2012 and Newcastle Development Control Plan (DCP 2012).  The controls aim to provide orderly development and facilitate the provision of public access and open space in the area.

Land Reservation Acquisition (Map Prefix: LRA_)

Land identified in the map, is land that the nominated Authority in Clause 5.1 may be required to acquire under Division 3 of Part 2 of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (the owner-initiated acquisition provisions).

Newcastle City Centre – 'Key Site' (Map Prefix: CL1_)

Land identified as a 'Key Site' in the map, is subject to specific assessment criteria, for certain development, as specified in Clause 7.5 of Newcastle Local Environmental Plan (LEP 2012).

Urban Release (Map Prefix: URA_)

Land identified in the map contains additional local provisions that apply to Urban Release areas.  Details can be found in Part 8 of the Newcastle LEP 2012.

Property Specific Information

The above information is also available by purchasing a S10.7 Planning Certificate for a specific parcel of land.