The Local Government Act 1993 has a requirement that land owned by a Council is categorised as either "community land" or "operational land". There are a number of restrictions on what a Council can do with land that is categorised as "community land" - for instance a Council has no power to sell it. An important requirement is that land categorised as community land must be used and managed in accordance with a plan of management prepared under the Local Government Act.
All community land owned by a Council is required to have a plan of management applying to it. The plan of management must identify the following:
(a) the category of the land,
(b) the objectives and performance targets of the plan with respect to the land,
(c) the means by which the council proposes to achieve the plan’s objectives and performance targets,
(d) the manner in which the council proposes to assess its performance with respect to the plan’s objectives and performance targets,
The plan of management must categorise the land as one of the following categories:
(a) a natural area,
(b) a sportsground,
(c) a park,
(d) an area of cultural significance,
(e) general community use.
A series of core objectives are provided for each of the above categories under the provisions of 36E-36N of the Local Government Act.
Councils are required to give public notice of plans of management and a public hearing is required to be held when any of the above classifications are proposed to be amended. Plans of management are required to be made publicly available.
Should a Council wish to sell community land to a non-government entity, it is necessary for the land to be reclassified as operational land. The typical process for doing this is to prepare a local environmental plan under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, with a clause indicating that the land is being reclassified.
I am able to prepare and provide advice on plans of management and local environmental plans for reclassifying community land. Please feel free to get in contact with me via email@example.com or 0423163597 for further information.