Land rezoning is never straightforward. At least, not when you are the owner of the land and you’re the one who wants to initiate the rezoning.

Why is land rezoned?

There are many reasons why you might want to do this – for instance, you might want to build residential housing, or be able to carry out a business or expand a factory operation. But if the current zoning of your land does not permit these things to occur, then usually your only option will be to seek to have the land rezoned.

The power of a local council to rezone land

Local councils have the power to rezone land within their local government area. More often than not, it is the council that initiates the rezoning of land in order to advance its strategic planning initiatives. Frequently there are many ratepayers who are unhappy about the changes that a council wants to make, but the rezoning can still be implemented.

Can private landowners apply to have their land rezoned?

In New South Wales, it is possible for private landowners to make a request to have their land rezoned.

What is the process for rezoning land?

For anyone seeking to do this, there is a specific process that must be followed. It is undertaken by lodging what is known as a planning proposal. The application can be limited to the rezoning of the land, or it may be linked to a development application for a particular development to be carried out if the rezoning is approved.

Does the local council make the rezoning decision?

You need the local council to support your planning proposal for rezoning of your land. However, the local council cannot rezone land without first obtaining approval to do so from the Minister for Planning.

What if your planning proposal is not approved?

Although there has been a lot of discussion over many years about granting landowners the right to appeal to the Land and Environment Court if an application for land rezoning is refused, this right has never been granted. And since there is no right of appeal it means that, if you want to maximise your chances of success, then it is very important for your application to be carefully managed, co-ordinated and prepared.

What do you need to know before lodging your rezoning application?

If you want to rezone your land, then you will need to be fully informed about the various planning and environmental laws, regulations and controls that currently apply. In addition, special care must be taken to be very clear about precisely what needs to change in order to allow your intended development to proceed. You will also need to be in a position to demonstrate the appropriateness of your proposed rezoning having regard to local, regional and state planning policies and strategies.

What reports will you need?

It is necessary for anyone who is seeking to rezone their land to engage appropriately qualified consultants to prepare reports which address and assess all of the relevant issues that arise, not only in relation to your own land but to other land within the vicinity of your site.

The process for rezoning property and land can be costly and involved, which is why it is necessary to have the right property lawyers by your side to assist and guide you through the process. For more information and guidance on land rezoning for your next development, get in touch with us today at (02) 8318 0788 or contact us to book a consultation.

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    Our Environment and Planning Law Lawyers

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    Jason Hones

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    Gavin Shapiro

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    Peter Clarke

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    Serafina Carrington