E Zones to become C Zones from 1 December

Published on 25 November 2021

View up several tall, narrow, brown tree trunks to a view of the lush sub tropical canopy underside.

The NSW Government is renaming the ‘Environment Zones’ (E Zones) that protect areas with high environmental and biodiversity values to ‘Conservation Zones’ (C Zones) on 1 December 2021. 

“This change, from E Zones to C Zones, which will apply to our Byron Local Environmental Plan 2014, is purely administrative and of name only,” Byron Shire Council’s Land Use Planning Coordinator Alex Caras said.

“There are no changes to zone objectives and permissible land uses - only the prefix and zone category are changing,” Mr Caras said.

The government’s reasons for changing E Zones to C Zones include:

-  the name ‘environment protection zone’ is too broad and is open to multiple interpretations which can cause confusion about the purpose, intent, and objectives of the zone. ‘Conservation’ clearly signals that this zone is about conserving the environmental values and natural qualities in areas where it applies.
-  to make way for a new suite of employment zones to be rolled out over the next 12 months in council LEPs.

The name change affects all NSW councils, whose local environmental plans will be automatically updated by the State Government.

Council will update its website and relevant planning documents to include the State governments fact sheet, FAQs and other supporting information including a statement that:  “a reference to an Environment Protection zone E1, E2, E3 or E4 in a document should be taken to be a reference to a Conservation zone C1, C2, C3 or C4.”

For more details about the name change go to the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment’s website:

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