The NSW Government is calling for feedback on proposals set to make it easier to meet demand for childcare and education facilities and streamline planning approval processes for those facilities.
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Executive Director of State Policies and Strategic Advice, Felicity Greenway, said proposed changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Educational Establishments and Child Care Facilities) 2017 would make it easier for schools, TAFEs and universities to build new facilities and improve existing ones.
“These proposed changes are part of a broader NSW Government’s Planning Reform Action Plan aimed at making the planning system more timely, transparent and certain,” Ms Greenway said.
“One of the biggest changes is lifting thresholds for school and tertiary education projects to be considered as state significant.
“This will address specific barriers for quicker delivery of low impact school and university developments.”
These changes lift limits for development without consent provisions for schools and tertiary institutions from one storey to two storeys.
Ms Greenway said the amendments also provide a clear planning pathway for student housing on university, TAFE and school campuses and support ongoing investment in innovation hubs for related commercial uses.
“Student housing will be allowed to be undertaken within the boundaries of existing campuses, and these changes will align with other new policies on housing diversity.
“We are also seeking to address concerns about cumulative amenity impacts from closely located childcare centres in residential areas.
“We need to ensure that important community facilities like childcare centres are developed appropriately in local neighbourhoods,” she said.
The Department is seeking feedback on the proposed amendments from councils, government agencies, industry and the general public through the submission process.