Proposed planning changes to deliver billions in investment

The NSW Government will accelerate the delivery of up to $4.8 billion annually in economic benefits under a suite of proposed reforms to planning rules and complying development.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes today announced proposed changes would be made to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) to drive new investment and make it easier for businesses to establish, change and grow.

“The pandemic has been the catalyst for major reform across the planning system and these proposed changes will give businesses greater flexibility and drive economic growth,” Mr Stokes said.

“Complying development saves businesses time by removing the need for lengthy planning approvals for development where the impacts can be managed by meeting the rules set out in the policy.

“These proposed changes will make it easier for businesses in industrial and business zones to set up new premises, change or add additional uses, build and renovate and operate longer hours without the need for a development application.”

These reforms aim to unlock as much as $4.8 billion in economic benefit annually, in the form of capital investment value plus time and opportunity cost savings for industry.

The Productivity Acceleration Package is currently on exhibition for community feedback which seeks to include more allowable land uses, larger buildings and to remove outdated or restrictive provisions.

Key proposed changes include:

  • allowing businesses to operate from 7am-10pm in business zones or 24-hours in industrial zones regardless of their consent conditions;
  • making it easier for businesses to reconfigure their parking lots, set up drive through ‘click and collect’ bays and areas for no-contact pick up;
  • reducing duplication and simplifying planning documents needed to set up or change business uses;
  • allowing new uses to be set up such as function centres, medical facilities, food and drink venues without the need for a development application;
  • increasing height and floor space limits to account for larger buildings needed in today’s warehousing and manufacturing sectors;
  • allowing data centres to be set up as complying development subject to strict conditions;
  • introducing a design guide for specific developments like data centres, car showrooms, shops and offices; and
  • introducing an opt-in for councils to master plan complying development in business and industrial zones in their areas.

These proposed reforms are part of our Government’s commitment to build a more timely, transparent and certain planning system through the Planning Reform Action Plan. Community feedback has a vital role in planning decisions and the proposed changes are on exhibition for feedback until 9 May.

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