Roads

Crown or ‘paper’ roads were established during European settlement of NSW and are part of the state’s public road network.

Generally, Crown public roads provide access to freehold and leasehold land, where little or no subdivision has occurred since the original Crown subdivision of NSW in the early nineteenth century.

Over time, the use of some Crown roads and surrounding land has changed, which has led to a change in ownership or management of some Crown roads.

The department manages Crown roads under the Roads Act 1993 (the Roads Act) and in line with the Administration of Crown roads policy and guideline.

Crown road sales

The department recognises that many Crown roads in the public road network are not needed for public access. In these cases, the department may sell or close Crown roads without compromising the broader public interest.

Apply to buy a Crown road

For more information read the:

To apply to buy a road, please complete the Crown road purchase application form and review the steps in the statutory process timeframes which explains the time it takes to process applications.

Proposed road sales

The department published proposed Crown road sales in local newspapers and on its online search facility Here you can view and search all current notices for proposals in NSW. Notices remain available for 28 days from the date of publication.

Main features of the search facility

You can find roads that the department proposes to sell by using map or keyword searches. The search facility allows you to:

  • use keywords to filter the search to a specific area such as a local government area or locality
  • view information about the roads that are proposed for sale, including maps showing the roads offered
  • access information about how to make a submission
  • print full details of the road advertisement and supporting maps.

Using the search facility

To make searching easier, we've developed some guides to help.

Online search tool

Crown road closures

Reasons for closing a Crown road may include

  • adding to a Crown reserve or tenure
  • preventing risk to the public or environment
  • facilitating a strategic sale under the Crown Land Management Act 2016.

If you wish to close a Crown road, email your enquiry to roads@crownland.nsw.gov.au

Using Crown roads for grazing

If you have a Crown road within or next to your property that you want to use for grazing, you may consider applying:

Enclosure permits

To fence a Crown road for grazing purposes, you will need an enclosure permit. The enclosure permit lets you graze the land but does not give you exclusive possession or ownership of the Crown road. You still need to keep the Crown road available for access.

The department issues enclosure permits to individuals and businesses that have Crown roads within their property and want to avoid fencing the road out.

You will need to pay an annual rent to the department for the use of the land. Read our Enclosure permit FAQs for more details.

Application forms

Using Crown roads for other purposes

For uses other than grazing, you may consider applying for a lease or licence

Transferring a Crown road

For development and planning reasons, councils and other roads authorities may request the transfer of a Crown road from the department to a council or another roads authority. This can allow the road to be maintained to council construction standards, as use of the road changes over time.

There are 2 types of transfers administered by the department:

  • Crown road transfer at the request of council or another roads authority – this requires the roads authority to submit a transfer Crown road application form
  • Crown road transfer initiated by the department – the department will consult with council before a Crown road is transferred, with each proposed transfer considered on a case-by-case basis.

The department has established criteria for determining whether a Crown road is suitable for transfer to council. Read the transfer criteria for more information.

Road works on Crown roads

The department is not a road construction authority and we do not construct or maintain Crown roads.

The department may allow a road user to complete small-scale works on certain Crown roads.

Road works on Crown roads generally fall into 2 categories:

  • maintenance of a road in use for access (to deal with general wear and tear)
  • road works to establish access along an unformed road.

If large-scale construction must be carried out, the department will consider if transfer of the road to council is more suitable, so a local council can administer construction according to its standards as the roads authority.

For enquiries about the maintenance or construction of council roads, contact the relevant local council.

Council roads

Local councils are responsible for the closure of council roads within their local government area. Contact your local council for all enquiries about closing and/or buying a council road.