Request a planning scheme amendment (rezoning)

Changes to planning laws

On 31 July 2020, planning laws changed in the Northern Territory (NT). Read about these changes.

The NT Planning Scheme 2020 also came into force on 31 July 2020. It replaces the 2007 scheme. Read the current planning scheme.

You can request a planning scheme amendment (PSA) if you want to:

  • rezone your land
  • change planning policy or
  • change other rules in the planning scheme.

The table below provides an overview of the application process.

To request a PSA, follow the step-by-step guide further below.

Summary

About the application What you need to know
How to apply Submit through the Development Applications Online (DAO) website
Fees

$3,423 lodgement fee
$696 advertising fee

Advertising

Usually 28 days advertising, including notices through:

  • two newspaper adverts
  • planning notices online
  • yellow signs placed on the land
Processing time Processing times vary. It can usually take between 4 to 6 months but can be much longer.
Decision maker Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
Administrating branch Lands Planning

Before you apply

A PSA request can be complicated.

You are strongly advised to speak with a planner from Lands Planning before making this application to:

  • discuss the merits of the proposal
  • help you understand your application requirements.

To get the best advice, you should provide the property address and any plans you have before the meeting.

Supporting information

When you apply for a PSA, you must provide the following:

  • your contact details
  • an explanation of the proposed amendment and why you are requesting it
  • an assessment of the proposed amendment including:
    • how it will meet the purpose and objectives of the Planning Act 1999
    • how it aligns with the strategic framework
    • its merits and whether it is in the public interest
    • details of any public consultation you plan to carry out.

For more information, read the PSA guide to attachments PDF (149.6 KB).

If you don't understand the requirements, you can contact a planner.

You may also consider getting a private planning consultant to apply on your behalf.

How to apply

You can submit a PSA application through the Development Applications Online website.

Fees

The following fees apply for a planning scheme amendment:

  • $3,423 lodgement fee - when the application is initially accepted
  • $696 advertising fee - if the minister proceeds with the application and places it on public exhibition.

All fees are non-refundable, even if your application is unsuccessful.

How to pay

You can pay fees online through the DAO website.

This is the preferred lodgement and payment method.

Other ways to pay

You can pay in person by cash or card at your nearest planning office.

After you apply

Read below to find out what happens after you submit your application.

Timeframes

PSA requests usually take around four to six months for a decision.

However, it may take considerably longer if:

  • there are complex issues involved or
  • more information is needed.

After your application is received, it goes to the minister for consideration.

The minister will make an initial decision to either:

  • continue to consider the request by placing it on exhibition
  • reject the request without considering it further or
  • amend the planning scheme without exhibition.

Before making a decision, the minister may also request:

  • further information from you - you will need to provide this within a specified timeframe
  • views from the NT Planning Commission on the proposed amendment.

You will be notified of the initial decision.

If the minister amends without exhibition

If the minister amends the planning scheme without exhibition, it will come into effect on the date the amendment is advertised.

The amendment and the reasons for the decision will also be made available online.

If the minister's initial decision is to continue to consider the request, they will place it on exhibition.

PSA proposals are advertised to the public for at least 28 days, including notices through:

  • two newspaper adverts
  • planning notices online
  • yellow signs placed on the land.

If the application is exhibited

If the application is exhibited, Lands Planning will inform you of your advertising requirements and arrange:

  • the newspaper adverts
  • online notices
  • printing of signs.

You will need to:

  • pay the advertising fee
  • arrange to collect and place the yellow signs as directed.

Receiving submissions

During the public exhibition period, submissions may be received from:

  • the public
  • service authorities
  • the local council.

A submission is a written objection or supporting comment about a PSA proposal.

All valid submissions will be sent to you at the end of the exhibition period.

Once the period has ended, your application may be discussed at a public hearing.

If submissions are received from the public or local council, the NT Planning Commission will likely hold a hearing.

Hearings are informal and open to the public.

You and anyone who made a submission on your proposal will be invited to attend and speak.

Invitations will be sent about 10 days before the meeting date.

The Planning Commission is not the decision maker. Their role is to report any issues raised to the minister.

For more information, including upcoming hearing dates and agendas, go to the NT Planning Commission website.

The NT Planning Commission provides a report to the minister about any issues raised during the exhibition period.

This includes:

  • a copy of all submissions
  • a summary of any further issues raised at a hearing
  • any other matters the commission thinks is relevant.

The report will be available to the public on the NT Planning Commission website.

In making a decision, the minister will consider all of the following:

  • whether the proposed amendment:
    • promotes the purpose and objectives of the Act
    • is consistent with the strategic framework in the planning scheme
  • the merits of the proposed amendment and if it is in the public interest
  • any reports received from the NT Planning Commission and the department
  • any other matters the minister considers relevant.

Once the minister has received the report from the NT Planning Commission, they have 90 days to make a decision.

The minister must decide to:

  • amend the planning scheme as proposed
  • alter the proposal and amend the planning scheme in some other way or
  • refuse to amend the planning scheme.

Before making a final decision, the minister may also:

  • request further information from you and/or
  • re-exhibit the proposal - with or without alterations.

If further information is requested, you will be told when to submit it by.

You and anyone who made a submission will be directly notified of any decision.

If your application is successful

A decision to amend the planning scheme will be advertised in the newspaper.

The decision will then be made available online.

The amendment to the planning scheme comes into effect on the date the decision is advertised in the newspaper.

Request a right of review

There is no right under the Planning Act 1999 to request a review of a PSA decision.

Last updated: 04 September 2020

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