Local and Regional Planning Panels have been streamlined so they can better support the State’s economic recovery while maintaining their independence and integrity.
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Executive Director Local and Regional Planning Monica Gibson said the reforms will ensure projects are not held up by unnecessary delays in the assessment stage.
“These reforms will streamline the operations of the panels and put more projects in the construction pipeline when they are needed, while ensuring they continue to be subject to thorough and rigorous assessment under current legislation,” Ms Gibson said.
Local Planning Panels and Sydney District and Regional Planning Panels are made up of independent experts and community representatives who assess significant and contentious development applications lodged with councils, ensuring the best decisions are made for communities.
The reforms will allow council staff to deal with applications for minor modifications to approvals that have already been assessed by a planning panel, with the panels only dealing with certain larger-scale applications.
The reforms will also:
- Ensure panels make determinations on projects within two weeks of being provided an assessment report;
- Ensure panels hold a public meeting where the development application has attracted at least 10 or more unique submissions objecting to the proposal;
- Ensure panels provide reasons for deferring a decision and set timeframes in which any additional information must be provided to finalise the determination;
- Ensure panel chairs work with councils to address key issues during assessment to minimise deferrals by the panels at determination stage; and
- Allow panel chairs to require councils to report a development application to the panel within four weeks for determination if the application has experienced unreasonable delays in excess of 180 calendar days from lodgement.
Additionally, for Sydney District and Regional Planning Panels:
- Panels may now delegate any functions directly to council staff; and
- Development applications that are the subject of a regionally significant concept plan will not be required to be considered regionally significant.
More information: www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/planning-panels/about-planning-panels