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Planning referrals

Councils assess and determine most local development applications (DAs) in NSW under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (Planning Act). The Department of Planning and Environment assesses large or significant applications. As part of the assessment process, some applications require input from 'referral authorities' before a decision is made.

The Western Parkland City Authority (WPCA) is responsible for coordinating development and delivery activities across the Western Parkland City. This includes acting as a referral authority to provide advice on Western Parkland City planning matters. This will usually involve State-led and determined large scale development proposals.

The WPCA is guided by the Western Parkland City Blueprint and Economic Development Roadmap – Phase 1 in its advisory and consultative roles. These documents also inform the WPCA’s response on planning matters. 

While under the Planning Act the WPCA is not a decision maker, the Authority will:

  • provide advice to the Minister for Planning on draft Aerotropolis Precinct Plans (and proposed amendments) in the Aerotropolis which require consultation under Chapter 4 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Precincts - Western Parkland City) 2021
  • participate in the Aerotropolis Technical Assurance Panel (TAP) for masterplans as per the Department of Planning and Environment's Master Plan Guidelines and Supplementary Guidance
  • provide advice on the Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for State significant projects (development and infrastructure)
  • provide comment on State significant projects as required by SEARs
  • provide comment to authorities proposing 'development without consent' with a capital investment value of $30 million or more under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Transport and Infrastructure)
  • provide comments at other stages of the planning process for development throughout the Western Parkland City as required

Requests for referral advice on planning matters can be emailed to [email protected].

Frequently asked questions

What area is covered under the Western Parkland City?

The Western Parkland City covers the eight local government areas of the Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Penrith and Wollondilly.

The area is outlined in the Western Parkland City Authority Act 2018, Schedule 2 Western City Operational Areas.

Click here to read more about the WPCA and our role

When should a State significant development application (SSDA) or State significant infrastructure application (SSIA) be referred to the WPCA?

All SSDAs and SSIAs for sites located within the Western Parkland City should be referred to the WPCA.

The Department of Planning and Environment’s industry-specific Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) also includes a mandatory requirement to consult with the WPCA for the following development types in the Western Parkland City:

  • Build-to-rent housing
  • Cemeteries
  • Correctional centres and complexes
  • Cultural, recreation and tourist facilities
  • Data storage centres
  • Hospitals, medical centres and health research facilities
  • Identified sites and precincts
  • Schools
  • Seniors' housing
  • Tertiary institutions
  • Warehouses and distribution centres.

How does the WPCA provide advice on Masterplans in the Aerotropolis?

The WPCA is a member of the Aerotropolis Technical Assurance Panel (TAP) and, along with other government agencies, provides coordination, assistance and technical advice to inform the development of the Masterplans in the Aerotropolis.

The WPCA is excluded from the TAP for Bradfield City Centre master plans as it is the landowner and developer for this site.