West Yamba Development Update

Clarence Valley has a growing population creating demand for diverse housing opportunities.

The West Yamba Urban Release Area (accessed via Carrs Drive) is a key component of providing housing for the lower Clarence.

Balancing the need for housing, environmental protection and sustainable development outcomes in West Yamba is an ongoing consideration. This is guided by a range of state and local planning controls.

Planning explained for West Yamba

You can download an information document summarising the planning history and current planning framework guiding development in West Yamba at the links below 

Click here to view on your PC or laptop.(PDF, 5MB)

Click here to view on your mobile device.(PDF, 5MB)

West Yamba Development Updates -March 2024

Keep up to date about development applications, construction and other information relevant to ongoing development in the West Yamba Urban Release Area below 

Click here to view on your PC or laptop(PDF, 5MB)

Click here to view on your mobile device(PDF, 5MB)

How to have your say about future planning decisions in West Yamba

The community can keep up to date and be involved with development applications at West Yamba via the notification and advertising methods detailed in Council’s Community Participation Plan, such as Council’s online Noticeboard and ‘On Exhibition’ webpage.

Current planning and development framework for West Yamba

The main plans that guide development in the West Yamba Urban Release Area are:

These plans have been developed in accordance with the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979.

Most of the land in the West Yamba Urban Release area is currently zoned R1 General Residential under the LEP to provide for a variety of housing types and densities to meet the changing housing needs of the community. There has also been land set aside for environmental conservation (Zoned “C3”), large lot residential development (zoned “R5”), land for St James Catholic Primary School; land for a community centre; and land for open space, drainage, floodways and other areas where housing is not allowed. 

The LEP includes primary controls about what types of land uses are permissible in the General Residential Zone, and also includes specific development standards about key issues relevant to West Yamba like flood planning, flood plain risk management and earthworks.

The former Maclean Local Environmental Plan 2001 included a specific zone for urban residential areas to be low scale in response to community feedback. Council requested a specific zone for West Yamba to carry forward these controls in the Clarence Valley Local Environmental Plan 2011, however including specific controls to limit lot sizes or residential densities is not possible under the State Government’s planning policy for residential growth areas. West Yamba’s residential areas are now zoned R1 General Residential with objectives to provide for housing needs and diversity.

Part 6 “Urban Release Area” of the LEP requires that prior to consent being granted for subdivision and development of land for urban purposes the land must have a development control plan prepared detailing specific controls for the urban release area, and that the land must also be appropriately serviced with public infrastructure and development must occur in a logical, cost effective manner.

The Part X “Urban Release Area Controls” of the Residential DCP was adopted by Council in 2015 to meet the LEP Part 6 “Urban Release Area” requirements, with Part X “Schedule X1 - West Yamba Urban Release Area” detailing the specific controls which guide development.

The Part X -Schedule X1(PDF, 1MB) controls include:

  • Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • Staging and Servicing
  • Transport movement hierarchy and road network design (incorporating cycle and pedestrian network)
  • Landscaping strategy incorporating biodiversity and environmental conservation and management as well as visual amenity
  • Open space and recreation
  • Natural and environmental hazards - flood and fill management
  • Stormwater management and water quality
  • Hazard management – other natural and environmental hazards
  • Urban design
  • Neighbourhood commercial development
  • Public Infrastructure and Services

In addition to Part X, other parts of the Residential DCP are applicable for development at West Yamba Urban Release Area, in particular floodplain management controls, sustainable water controls, erosion and sediment controls and subdivision and engineering controls. Other legislation, policies and guidelines also need to be considered when determining whether development is suitable in the West Yamba Urban Release Area.

Development Assessment

An outline of the general development assessment process, planning approval pathways and integrated development referral is provided below:

Your guide to the Development Application process - (nsw.gov.au)

Development assessment - (nsw.gov.au)

Planning Approval Pathways - (nsw.gov.au)

Development-referrals-guide.pdf (nsw.gov.au)


NSW Planning hierarchy

Planning hierarchy for West Yamba

Figure 1 - NSW planning hierarchy - summary of planning controls