Planning Reform

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Consultation has concluded

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The updated Planning Act 1999, Planning Regulations 2000 and Northern Territory Planning Scheme 2020
came into force on Friday 31 July 2020


The NT Government is progressing an initial stage of Planning Reform Phase 2.

Planning Reform Phase 2 Stage 1 is an opportunity to progress economic recovery actions that address recommendations from the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission (TERC).

These actions focus on streamlining regulatory processes to reduce application timeframes, while maintaining necessary standards and protections.

The Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics is proposing amendments to the NT Planning Scheme 2020 that create opportunity for the streamlining of planning processes while maintaining the influence of strategic land use planning that:

  • incorporate local design responses from area plans into location specific development requirements (LSDRs), to more succinctly inform design and decision making about developments in strategic locations;
  • increase the number of low risk uses that can be interchanged in commercial zones without the need for a development application; and
  • move some uses to permitted and simpler assessment categories within specific zones.

The proposed amendments aim to further enhance the planning system following the implementation of phase 1 reforms in July 2020. They ensure that the wishes of the community and industry, reflected in the area plans, will meaningfully guide development and influence decisions.

Parallel to this work, the NT Planning Commission has, over the past two years, been progressing the Designing Better project. Designing Better is an initiative that aims to better facilitate the achievement of best practice design outcomes in apartment and mixed use development.

Both projects seek to improve processes and outcomes relating to the design of buildings and place. This will be achieved though changes to the development requirements in the planning scheme.

The Planning Reform team has prepared a single, comprehensive planning scheme amendment that is on exhibition now through to 10 December 2021.

The amendment seeks to incorporate economic recovery actions and Designing Better into the NT Planning Scheme 2020 by:

  • introducing Overlay 3.12 GL – Gateway Locations
  • amending components of Part 4 (Zones and Assessment Tables) and Part 5 (Development Requirements)
  • amending Schedule 2.2. (General Definitions)

For more information on the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics’ Economic Recovery Actions project, visit the Planning Reform website.

For more information on the Designing Better project, visit the NT Planning Commission’s website or here on Have Your Say.


The updated Planning Act 1999, Planning Regulations 2000 and Northern Territory Planning Scheme 2020
came into force on Friday 31 July 2020


The NT Government is progressing an initial stage of Planning Reform Phase 2.

Planning Reform Phase 2 Stage 1 is an opportunity to progress economic recovery actions that address recommendations from the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission (TERC).

These actions focus on streamlining regulatory processes to reduce application timeframes, while maintaining necessary standards and protections.

The Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics is proposing amendments to the NT Planning Scheme 2020 that create opportunity for the streamlining of planning processes while maintaining the influence of strategic land use planning that:

  • incorporate local design responses from area plans into location specific development requirements (LSDRs), to more succinctly inform design and decision making about developments in strategic locations;
  • increase the number of low risk uses that can be interchanged in commercial zones without the need for a development application; and
  • move some uses to permitted and simpler assessment categories within specific zones.

The proposed amendments aim to further enhance the planning system following the implementation of phase 1 reforms in July 2020. They ensure that the wishes of the community and industry, reflected in the area plans, will meaningfully guide development and influence decisions.

Parallel to this work, the NT Planning Commission has, over the past two years, been progressing the Designing Better project. Designing Better is an initiative that aims to better facilitate the achievement of best practice design outcomes in apartment and mixed use development.

Both projects seek to improve processes and outcomes relating to the design of buildings and place. This will be achieved though changes to the development requirements in the planning scheme.

The Planning Reform team has prepared a single, comprehensive planning scheme amendment that is on exhibition now through to 10 December 2021.

The amendment seeks to incorporate economic recovery actions and Designing Better into the NT Planning Scheme 2020 by:

  • introducing Overlay 3.12 GL – Gateway Locations
  • amending components of Part 4 (Zones and Assessment Tables) and Part 5 (Development Requirements)
  • amending Schedule 2.2. (General Definitions)

For more information on the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics’ Economic Recovery Actions project, visit the Planning Reform website.

For more information on the Designing Better project, visit the NT Planning Commission’s website or here on Have Your Say.


Draft Northern Territory Planning Scheme 2020 – How to be involved

Consultation has now closed.