The NSW planning process is governed by a hierarchy of development rules. These rules start with legislation, then step down to various types of plans, policies and guidelines.


Acts through to LEPs are legislative documents and are legally binding. DCPs and policies are non-statutory documents set by Council. Each application will need to demonstrate that the development either complies with the DCP objectives, numerical standards and qualitative standards, or that the application adequately provides justification for departure from those standards.

State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) and Regional Environmental Plans (REPs) are available on the NSW legislation website.

A range of SEPPs are considered in the assessment of a development applications. The only REP that applies in the Blue Mountains is the ‘Sydney Regional Environment Plan No. 20 – Hawkesbury-Nepean River.