Tuesday, 26 April 2022 10:25

Western Sydney councils adopt first urban heat controls

Aerial view of cool development Aerial view of cool development WSROC

Media release, 22 April 2022


The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) in partnership with its members have developed NSW’s first guidance on planning for urban heat – the Urban Heat Planning Toolkit – with the first planning controls for heat entering new LEP and DCPs.

WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said, “In 2018 the Greater Sydney Commission identified urban heat as an issue that councils needed to address through the planning system.

“There was no argument that heat is a major issue for Western Sydney, the question for councils was ‘How do we do that’?

“WSROC’s Urban Heat Planning Toolkit was developed to assist council planners working in this new and complex area of planning. The toolkit identifies design measures to reduce the impacts of urban heat, identifies how each measure works, summarises key evidence, and notes capacity of council planning to address it.

The Toolkit has three types of recommendations:

1. New LEP and DCP provisions specifically for urban heat.

2. Improvements to existing provisions (e.g. canopy cover or water management) to better address heat.

3. Addressing measures beyond the scope of local planning controls.

“A year on, it is extremely heartening to see the first controls specifically addressing urban heat being delivered through the current round of Local Environment Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP) provisions.

“Because each council is at a different stage of their planning review, we expect more urban heat clauses to be released over the next 12 months,” said Clr Calvert.

“The Urban Heat Planning Toolkit, has shown that heat is not only a Western Sydney issue. WSROC has received significant interest from councils elsewhere in the Sydney Metropolitan Area, regional NSW, and even interstate,” he said.

“While we are excited to see what councils can achieve, it’s important to note that there are many planning issues that are outside councils’ control such as, energy and thermal comfort requirements.

“Further, around half of new development in Western Sydney bypasses council planning controls, many through state-level complying development pathways,” said Clr Calvert.

“It is essential that cool planning is addressed across all parts of the planning system. While promising advances were being made under the Design & Place SEPP, that work has unfortunately been overturned in recent weeks.

“We hope the NSW Government will improve urban heat mitigation measures in future state planning policies, so that local controls are backed by clear state-level guidance,” he said.






 Explainer video: Urban Heat Planning Toolkit



Download the Urban Heat Planning Toolkit.

uh toolkit pic


The following council planning instruments feature new urban heat controls:



Last modified on Tuesday, 26 April 2022 10:41

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