Business and Industrial

Zone Review

The report was commissioned to inform and support the evidence base for the preparation of the State Retail Planning Policy Framework, reflecting the direction and advice contained in the REAC report. HillPDA developed are commended planning framework with supporting analysis of the planning and economic implications.

A costings matrix was also provided evaluating the impact of competing land uses and how this affected viability and highest and best use. Broad recommendations included:

  • The collapsing of the definition and zoning hierarchy to be accompanied by an expansion of mandated permissible retail uses across zones
  • Industrial zones that restrict retail are still required. These zones would benefit from mandating prohibited uses, restricting office and retail uses (particularly ‘bulky goods premises’) considered to compete with industrial uses for land
  • Councils should undertake an independent review of all employment lands. If there is strategic merit, some existing industrial lands should be rezoned to ‘commercial centre’ or ‘mixed use’ to more adequately reflect their existing operation.


  • HillPDA undertook extensive case study analysis across metropolitan and regional NSW to inform the evidence base
  • The planning framework of other Australian states was also considered and evaluated to see if there was merit in adopting any provisions or structures
  • Although not required as part of the original scope of works, HillPDA provided recommendations on consolidating the current zoning provision and uses
  • The recommended planning framework was supported by an indicative land value hierarchy and highest and best use modelling matrix. The matrix explored the complex interrelationship between landuses.

The study provided a comprehensive evidence based to guide future decision making around amending the standard instrument.


  • Policy analysis
  • Zone review
  • Permissibility audit
  • Planning control testing
  • Economic impact assessment
  • Case studies

Client: Department of Planning and Environment
Project date: 2018


For more information, contact Elizabeth Griffin, Principal

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