What is the Local Approvals Policy?

    The Local Approvals Policy (LAP) is a local policy for Council which requires approval for certain activities under the Local Government Act. The policy includes low impact activities like outdoor dining, placement of street stalls and performance on public land, and water, sewerage and drainage work. The

    The policy is divided into three parts, describing

    1. activities that are exempt approval - as long as the activity is conducted according to criteria specified in the policy

    2. activities that need a local approval

    3. the application process, conditions and information that is required to be submitted with the application

    Why is Council undertaking this review?

    The policy has to be reviewed within twelve months after the local government election and when otherwise needed.

    The proposed changes have been identified as requiring controls or improvement to existing controls to make it easier and clearer for people to undertake this type of low impact activity, and to align with recent state government policy changes.

    What are the proposed changes?

    Footway trading  (section 1.4.1) displaying goods for sale on the footpath area - is included as an exempt activity, without need for approval if the activity complies to specified criteria. This is currently an unregulated area. Council recognises that displaying goods is both positive for local trade and the visual environment in creating active and vibrant streets, however also considers it important to specify conditions for this activity. Including it as an exempt activity without the need for application is beneficial for local business owners, whilst specific criteria like placement on the footway considers public movement and accessibility.

     The proposed change depends on the consent from the Office of Local Government.

    Occupation of movable dwelling on vacant land during construction of a permanent home  (section 2.1.3 and 3.1.3). The installation and occupation of a movable dwelling (like a caravan) normally requires a development application according to the Local Environment Plan (LEP). Including this activity in a Local Approvals Policy makes the application process easier for home owners. Council currently has a separate policy for this activity, which now will be consolidated with the Local Approvals Policy.

    Events (including markets) on council-owned land. Events is currently included in the Local approvals policy (section 2.6.4 and 3.6.4). Some large events however require a Development Approval in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. Council is considering removing events from the Local Approvals Policy and listing all events on Council owned land in the Local Environment Plan (LEP). This includes criteria describing when an event is exempt from a Development Approval and the requirements for a license/agreement with Council to use the land (see draft Planning Proposal). Having the criteria listed under the LEP makes the required documentation and conditions clear for applicants as to whether they are considered exempt development, or whether they are required to submit a development application.

    Minor changes are proposed to the definitions and conditions for Street stalls (section 2.4.2 and 3.4.2) and  Mobile vending (section 2.6.3 and 3.6.3) to clarify the difference between these activities, and to align the content on the Local Approvals Policy with recent government policy changes (the Fun SEPP) and lake Macquarie's VibrantSCENE program. We are also propose changing the term Footway dining to Outdoor dining to align with the terminology used in the Fun SEPP updates.

    Updated regulations - the draft Local Approvals Policy includes some content from outdated regulations which will be updated post public exhibition. References to the Local Government (Approvals) Regulation 1993 and the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005  will be replaced by references to the Local Government (General) Regulation 2021 - NSW LegislationReferences to the Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2005  will be replaced by references to the Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2021.

How do I make a submission?

    How do I make a submission?

    A formal submission must be in writing and sent via one of the following channels:

    • via the online form on this website
    • via email to [email protected]
    • via posted letter to ATT: Karin Coon, Lake Macquarie City Council, Box 1906, Hunter Region Mail Centre, NSW 2310.

    What should I put in a submission?

    Your submission can be as concise or as long as you wish:

    Ideally, you will express your level of support for the draft policy and provide detailed and specific feedback. The feedback will be reviewed by staff and later presented to Council to make an informed decision.

    Should multiple submissions be received from a single resident regarding this project, the feedback will be reviewed by staff and counted as one submission when reporting back to the Councillors.

    We recommend that all residents include feedback in a single submission.

    I've made a submission - what happens next?

    Feedback may result in further changes being made to the draft policy prior to a report being prepared for Council.

    You will be notified again, prior to Council considering the matter, which will include a link to the Council report containing a summary of submissions and how feedback was considered. It is expected the draft policy will be reported back to Council seeking adoption towards the end of 2022.