IPC overhaul first step to address Sydney’s planning problems

The Sydney Business Chamber says that improvements to the Independent Planning Commission are a positive sign to start an overdue overhaul of the planning process that’s impeding much needed growth and investment in Sydney.

“If Sydney is to keep pace with the current population growth and maintain its place as Australia’s global city, the planning system needs to be streamlined from local government up to state level, to allow for the necessary development and growth right across the city,” said Katherine O’Regan, Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber.

“Reducing the IPC’s involvement to only the most contentious projects, raising the threshold for its involvement in decision making and reducing the number of commissioners, will make it more agile and effective. These changes will work to reduce delays and red tape in the planning process, allowing it to begin to keep pace with the city’s rapid growth.

“A perfect storm is brewing for another major housing price boom due to an ongoing slowdown in residential housing construction, increasing delays with councils approving development applications and another expected interest rate cut attracting more home buyers. All this, while rapid population growth is putting ever-increasing demand on existing housing supply in Sydney.

“The State Government has rightly been focused on other major issues with the devastating bushfires and containing the Coronavirus, but it can’t lose sight of the pressing problems of those living and doing business in Sydney. The rising cost of housing is having a negative effect on Sydney’s liveability and its economy, causing lost productivity as workers are forced to live further away from job centres.”

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