Council secures grant funding to support Development Application backl

New house under construction

Council has secured funding from the NSW Government’s Faster Local Assessment and NSW Planning Portal grant programs to address issues and improve Development Assessment (DA) processes.

As one of 16 metropolitan councils currently experiencing significant housing growth, the $350,000 Faster Local Assessment Grant aims to support changes in Council processes to achieve faster processing times thereby assisting Council to focus on local DAs and Planning Proposals to bring forward housing supply.

The NSW Planning Portal Application Programming Interfaces Grant specifically aims to improve the integration of the NSW Planning Portal and Council’s IT system. This will eliminate the need for Council staff to transfer data manually which is the current practice. This grant funding has been made available for all 128 councils in NSW.

‘This funding will help put more efficient processes in place to ease pressure on staff and reduce the timeframe from DA lodgement to determination,’ CEO Rebecca Ryan said.

‘Our staff are currently working on finalising plans and reports required of these grants as well as a range of other measures to address the current backlog of DAs and improve future processes.’

Rebecca addressed Council’s DA backlog last month and acknowledged the frustration these delays are causing applicants.

‘A combination of short-term and long-term solutions are being put in place as we work to solve this problem. We have reassigned some existing Council staff to support the development assessment team, engaged some short-term contractors and are actively recruiting multiple vacant planning staff positions.’

‘As part of our short-term solution, we have temporarily paused Duty Planner duties, to allow planning staff to spend additional time in assessing DAs. Our customer service team will be helping to answer initial planning enquiries during this time.’

‘Whilst we have made some headway into getting approvals completed in the past few weeks, there are another 70 DAs in that same timeframe lodged on the NSW Planning Portal, which is testament to the housing growth in our region. As we continue to address and resolve this issue, I appreciate the community’s patience and understanding.’

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