Skip to Navigation

Environmental Zones (E Zones)

E Zones Feedback period extended to 8 December 2017

Due to the large volume of interest the feedback period has been extended to enable further time for landowners to have their say on this important matter.

Ezones explained: Click here to watch our FAQ video with Land Use Planning Coordinator Alex Caras


Key Messages

  • Council has mapped areas of environmental value using the State Government’s Northern Council’s Environmental Zone (E Zone) Review criteria.
  • All landowners with environmental values on their land have been notified.
  • Land confirmed as being used for agricultural purposes is likely to receive a rural zone.
  • Land confirmed as being used for environmental purposes is likely to receive an environmental zone.
  • Where environmental mapping occurs on land in an existing residential zone it is likely to retain a residential zoning.
  • For consultation purposes, in applying the state government’s environmental zone criteria, the mapping of possible E Zones has extended beyond those areas originally identified with environmental values in 2012 (ie. Deferred Matters in LEP 2014). 

Where potential E Zones have been mapped on land not affected by Deferred Matter, the E Zones will only be applied where the primary use of the land is environmental and this is confirmed by the landowner.

  • Council is now seeking landowner confirmation of the accuracy of the mapping and how they use that part of their property e.g. for agriculture or environmental purposes.


What is an Environmental Zone and how does it affect me?

Environmental Zones or 'E Zones' are designed to protect or manage land that is of important environmental value and include:

    • E2 – Environmental Conservation; and
    • E3 – Environmental Management.

E2 Zone: Environmental Conservation

The E2 zone primarily applies to areas of high ecological, scientific or cultural value that should be protected for environmental conservation purposes (including zones 7(a), 7(b), 7(j) and 7(k) under the Byron LEP 1988), and where commercial agricultural activities are not carried out. Examples of high ecological or scientific values can include:  littoral rainforest, coastal wetlands, endangered ecological communities, threatened species habitat and over-cleared vegetation communities.

E3 Zone: Environmental Management

The E3 zone primarily applies to areas containing special ecological or cultural attributes that require careful consideration/management.  This may include land containing riparian / estuarine vegetation, or rare, endangered, and vulnerable forest ecosystems, or where established agricultural activities occur within vegetated areas that meet the E2 criteria.  This zone allows for a wider range of land use activities that are compatible with these attributes.

To view the proposed objectives and permissible uses in these zones click here


E Zones being implemented in two Stages

Stage 1: confirm vegetation and primary land use - feedback closes 8 December

Council is committed to working with landowners to achieve agreed outcomes wherever possible.

Council is therefore seeking feedback affected landowners who have land currently identified as a Deferred Matter (DM) under Byron Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2014, as well as land outside these areas, to verify existing vegetation and primary use of the land. 

This will ensure the most up to date information is used to inform the rezoning of land to an environmental, rural or urban zone. 

Council has undertaken a preliminary assessment of affected properties to determine a possible environmental zone and has sent letters to all affected land owners.  The assessment is based on information collected during the recent Shire wide Vegetation Mapping Review and primary land use (ie. the predominant use of the land over the last two years eg Environmental, Agriculture or Other). 


To view mapping for your property click here.

Have your say?

Council strongly encourages affected landowners and the wider community to review the mapping information (for Stage 1 above) and confirm the accuracy of Council’s mapping and primary use of your land by 8 December 2017.  This can be done by:

    • requesting an appointment to speak with staff at Council’s Mullumbimby offices by emailing  Appointment times during the review period are between 9.00 and 12.00, Monday to Wednesday;
    • providing written feedback, which can be emailed to or posted to Byron Shire Council, PO Box 219 Mullumbimby 2482 by 8 December 2017.

Please include reference to the E Zone Review process, along with your property address and parcel number, contact details and a description of the changes you consider are required.  You may also choose to include supporting information relating to primary land use and/or vegetation on your land.  Council will review your feedback and may request your permission to carry out a site inspection of the vegetation on your property to inform amendments to the mapping.

If you require further assistance or advice regarding the above information, please contact Council’s Environmental and Economic Planning division - ph (02) 6626 7126.

Need more information?


Stage 2: apply E Zones - early 2018

The outcomes of Stage 1 will be reported to Council and will result in some areas of the Shire being rezoned to E2 Environmental Conservation and/or E3 Environmental Management. Areas that do not meet the E Zone criteria will most likely have an alternate zone applied (most likely a rural zone) with any applicable mapped planning controls in an overlay. (see Fact Sheet 1 for more information about overlays).

To include environmental zones in Byron LEP 2014, Council will prepare and exhibit a draft planning proposal that shows the proposed zonings, for a minimum per