Frequently Asked Questions


1.  What is a subregional land use plan?

Planning for future land use is important to ensure that essential infrastructure and services keep pace with the changing needs of a growing community. The Darwin Regional Land Use Plan 2015 establishes the broad land use structure and key principles that a subregional plan will build upon. A subregional plan provides more specific detail within defined areas to give clear understanding of future land use.


2.  Why focus on Litchfield?

The urban areas of Darwin and Palmerston are almost fully developed, with limited land remaining for suburban development. The last stages of Zuccoli and Muirhead are about to be constructed and future development is being considered at Lee Point and Berrimah Farm. Once these sites are developed, there will be no more unconstrained land in Darwin or Palmerston on which to build suburbs.

Darwin and Palmerston will continue to grow through the construction of apartments, units and townhouses at infill locations. 


3. Will my area change?

Your lot will not change unless you want it to change. The subregional plan will investigate options in and around Rural Activity Centres as a way to accommodate population growth while protecting the surrounding rural lifestyle areas. 


4. Will this rezone any land?

No, the Litchfield Subregional Land Use Plan is intended to become a policy document that will guide decision making on future land use. When someone applies to rezone land, the Litchfield Subregional Land Use Plan will provide guidance about what the area should look like.

Any rezoning application will still follow the normal process under the Planning Act. 


5. Why doesn’t government build Weddell now?

Weddell would initially be isolated from daily services and facilities, requiring residents to travel to Palmerston until there was sufficient population to sustain shops, public transport and community facilities. People would also be further from Darwin CBD, which will remain the centre of office-based employment in the region.

The cost of delivering infrastructure to Weddell is significantly higher than it would be to provide the same services to Holtze. Nevertheless, Weddell is suitable for urban development and will become a better option over time, as services and infrastructure come nearer, and therefore become more affordable.


6. I heard the housing crisis is over, why is government still planning for releasing land?

The housing boom of the last five years has slowed, however economic and population growth in greater Darwin is still occurring, and the continued supply of land will keep prices stable.

The greater Darwin region is expected to almost double in population with an increase of 120 000 residents over the next 40 to 50 years, including an additional 20 000 residents in the next 5 to 10 years.For this reason, we need to plan now to sustainably manage the housing and service demands needed to support a growing population. A proactive approach to planning will ensure we are prepared to respond to changing demands. 


7. Isn’t there plenty of land around Darwin? 

It is true that there is a great deal of land around Darwin that is undeveloped. However, very large areas of land are not suitable for residential or commercial purposes. Much of the land is not developable because it is affected by constraints such as seasonal waterlogging, storm surge, flooding and/or biting insects like midges and mosquitoes. The Darwin Regional Land Use Plan 2015 identifies these constraints and discusses the implications for development. Detailed investigations will confirm the extent of the impact and whether there are ways to reduce the impact to an acceptable level. 

Planning for development close to existing services and in areas that aren’t severely constrained reduced the disturbance to the environment and the cost to develop. As the last suburbs of Darwin and Palmerston are built, Litchfield will be the next logical area with suitable land to cater for the anticipated population growth.


8. I moved to Litchfield for the rural lifestyle, is this going to be affected?

The subregional plan seeks to find a balance between the rural lifestyle that residents currently enjoy and accommodating the growing population. This plan will look at what opportunities exist around the rural activity centres to manage the growth, protecting the rural lifestyle areas and locations for greenfield development.


9. How can I provide my views?

For more information and to provide feedback to the Planning Commission:

  • visit 
  • email
  • phone 08 8924 7540
  • say hello when you see us out and about; dates and locations on our website