Understanding the key terms

Strategic Merit

Strategic merit is the first ‘test’ a planning proposal must pass. It demonstrates that the proposal aligns with the strategic planning framework at a State and local level.

If a proposal cannot demonstrate sufficient strategic merit, it will not progress to the next stage of the process.

Site-Specific Merit

Site-specific merit is the second ‘test’ a planning proposal must pass. Site-specific merit is only considered if the strategic merit of the proposal has been accepted. Site-specific merit refers to the features of the site that make it suitable for the proposal. It may relate to its location, environmental opportunities and constraints and/or natural hazards, amongst other things.

Planning Proposal Authority

The Planning Proposal Authority (PPA) is the authority responsible for:

  • managing the planning proposal, including its preparation and submission to the Department of Planning and Environment for a Gateway Determination,
  • meeting the conditions of a Gateway Determination,
  • public exhibition; and,
  • finalisation.

Often, the PPA will be Council.

NSW Planning Portal

The NSW Planning Portal is an online tool that provides information and resources across a range of planning-related matters.

The Portal also provides a lodgement function, where Development Applications, Planning Proposals and various other certificates can be lodged with Council. You will need a login to access the Portal in order to lodge documents.

You will only use the Portal to lodge from Stage 2 onwards; Scoping Proposals are submitted to Council via email.