Guide to Analysing Planning Documents

Government planning documents are used to guide and control land use, land management and transportation options.  These planning documents have a long-term impact on bicycle users through the affect they have on the built environment and transport choices. 

Government planning documents should define aims and objectives that encourage active transportation and have policies, programs and provisions that require consideration or development of bicycle infrastructure and otherwise encourage cycling.

How to Find Plans/Projects

Plans and projects are usually exhibited to allow for the submission of comments and objections from the community.  Bicycle NSW keeps track of many State-level Government Plans & Projects and encourages Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) to stay informed about their local issues through their Local Council.  Ideally, BUGs should have a project officer who watches for notices of exhibition of plans/projects affecting their area in the local newspaper, on the internet or by subscribing to mailing lists.

To stay informed about State Government plans, visit the NSW Department of Planning & Environment.

What Other Information Should You Collect

The following documents will help you analyse plans/projects:

  • The Bicycle Plan for your Local Council (not all Councils have one).
  • Look at Planning/Design Guidelines.
  • Prepare a list of bicycle infrastructure and projects that you feel is important.

How to Examine a Plan/Project

In general, it is important to ensure that appropriate bicycle-friendly material is included in both the high-level vision of the document (Vision/Objectives/Goals/Aims) and the implementation details (Policies/Provisions/Standards/Proposals).

Different types of Plans/Projects cover different topics that impact on the bicycle environment in different ways.  To find out how to analyse various Local Council planning documents, use the Bicycle NSW Knowledgebase section on the different Types of Planning Documents.

How to Provide Feedback

The best way to provide feedback on Government Plans & Projects is through a written submission.  Even if you have no suggestions to make and are fully in support of the planning document, writing a short submission to express your support is well worthwhile.

Click here to read our Guide to Writing a Submission.