Environmental Planning Instruments (EPIs), including Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) and State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs), set out development standards that must be met when preparing a development application. Clause 4.6 of the Standard Instrument LEP and similar provisions in other EPIs allow authorities, such as local councils, to vary these development standards. This provides flexibility in situations where planning objectives can be satisfied despite not meeting the required development standard.
All variation requests under assessment or lodged from 1 November 2023 will be hosted on the NSW Planning Portal, in the publicly available variations register below. The register provides transparency for the community and streamlines reporting requirements for councils.
The variations register is supported by a new regulation requiring councils to enter the reasons for approving or refusing a variation in the NSW Planning Portal.
For further information, refer to the Guide to Varying Development Standards.