NSW Govt approves two new LEPs: Upper Lachlan Shire and Balranald Shire

MINISTER for Planning, Tony Kelly, last week announced the approval of two new local environmental plans (LEPs). The new LEPs, for Upper Lachlan Shire and Balranald Shire, are the latest of eighteen LEPs to be finalised since the introduction of the standard template in NSW, which aims to clarify and simplify state planning controls.

The Upper Lachlan Shire LEP aims to meet the area's housing needs and protect agricultural assets. The plan allows for approximately 500 new dwellings at Crockwell and 280 new dwellings in Gunning. My Kelly said that focusing development around these townships minimised land use conflicts and safeguards the Shire's natural assets.

As part of the plan, the Upper Lachlan Shire LEP recognises the importance of the Sydney drinking water catchments; implements minimum lot subdivision sizes for rural areas, identifies over 160 significant local heritage items for protection; and aims to manage ecological and environmental issues, including salinity, erosion and flooding.

The LEP for Balranald Shire includes provision for 96 hectares of village zoned land which Mr Kelly said could support around 300 new dwellings as well as provide employment opportunities. The LEP also includes provisions to protect land of environmental significance and identifies eight significant local heritage items for protection.

Mr Kelly said the new LEPs are an example of how the standard template can be used to create an LEP that "reflects distinct and individual values" of a Shire.

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