Delivering better planning system

NT Government

The Northern Territory Government is proposing amendments to the NT Planning Scheme 2020.

The amendments respond to recommendations from the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission (TERC) Report for the Northern Territory to provide certainty to investors through the maintenance of necessary standards and protections and regulatory practices that are responsive and fast.

The proposed amendments to the NT Planning Scheme 2020 are intended to streamline planning application processes by:

Incorporating local design responses from area plans into location specific development requirements, to more succinctly inform design and decision making about developments in strategic locations;Increasing the number of low-risk uses that could be interchanged in commercial zones without the need for a development application; andMoving some uses to permitted or simpler assessment categories.

The proposed amendments also incorporate the work of the NT Planning Commission’s Designing Better project, which will result in improved design outcomes for apartment and mixed-use buildings in Zones Medium Density Residential (MR), High Density Residential (HR), Central Business (CB), and Commercial (C).

To maximise the benefits and reduce the confusion of two similar projects concurrently on exhibition, a single and comprehensive planning scheme amendment is proposed, which:

Introduces an overlay to Part 3, to guide development of gateway locations in central Darwin, Palmerston and Alice Springs; developments in strategic locations;Amends components of Parts 4 and 5, to implement the revised assessment categories and development requirements; andAmends Schedule 2.2 (Definitions) of the NT Planning Scheme 2020 to support the changes in Part 5.

These changes complement the NT Planning Scheme 2020, by incorporating the guidance outlined in current area plans with existing development requirements, and co-locating them within the planning scheme for easy reference.

These proposed planning scheme amendments will continue to reflect the wishes of the community and industry currently reflected in the area plans, to meaningfully guide development and influence decisions.

Additionally, Location Specific Development Requirements (LSDR) will enhance the role of strategic land use plans in informing development outcomes, providing increased surety for applicants.

The proposed amendments are currently on statutory public exhibition for six weeks, starting Friday 21 January 2022 and concluding Friday 4 March 2022.

The feedback received will inform the Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics’ final consideration of the proposed amendments for inclusion into the NT Planning Scheme 2020.

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