Developer Friendly Planning System?

27/06/2012 5:07 am


Talk has reached fever pitch about a potential move from the State Government to a more developer friendly planning system with the government soon to release the findings as a result of an overhaul of the principle piece of planning legislation in NSW, the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979.

Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard, has indicated a move to introduce a system where communities are consulted and agree in advance on building forms/uses, heights and densities for a whole area. Mr Hazzard stipulates that “The government's direction will be around giving communities a voice upfront in the strategic planning of their areas but, having done that strategic planning, it will be a case of full steam ahead,''.

Read into it what you may, however, it would appear as though this could potentially spell the end of traditional ‘Neighbour Notification’ periods for complying development applications. Such a move would be welcomed by developers and home owners looking to make improvements to their property given the uncertainty (and ensuing time delays) which often surround development proposals which attract objections from neighbours during the advertising period. Perhaps this can be seen in the excessively high average development application determination times in local government areas such as Leichhardt and North Sydney Council where submissions from adjoining property owners are common place.

Although the findings of the NSW planning system overhaul, the Green Paper, is still some weeks away from being released, it appears as though the government may be starting to get it right – particularly given that new home construction rates have hit a 50 year low.