New Rezoning Review to Replace Existing Pre-Gateway Review

30/08/2016 7:34 pm

Central Sydney Planning Strategy


Delays and uncertainty in the rezoning process mean volatility for a property development, as it is difficult to respond quickly to changes in demand and the up front costs of a development involving a rezoning are high.

In New South Wales the new Rezoning Review is intended be an easier and faster process that will put an end to the current situation of endless amendments and re-submissions of rezoning proposals.

The Rezoning Review will also be faster, more efficient and more independent, enabling local decision makers to resolve matters without additional involvement of state bureaucrats, Mr. Stokes, NSW Minister for Planning said.

Applicants will now be able to seek an independent review of council decisions on proposed rezonings.  The new process will commence on September 1.  All review requests will automatically be referred to the relevant planning authorities within 3 days and it's expected that 85 percent of all Rezoning Reviews will be processed within 90 days.

The process should be more independent than the current pre-Gateway review in New South Wales.  Reviews will be conducted and decided by the relevant independent authority, being the Joint Regional Planning Panels or Sydney Planning Panels once operational. Rezoning Reviews within the City of Sydney will be conducted and decided by the independent Planning Assessment Commission.

In addition, a stronger strategic planning merit test will now be applied to any proposed rezoning and a review will not take place without proposals satisfying the minimum threshold. 

This review by the NSW Government is a welcome move for developers who seek to manage the risk of obtaining a rezoning proposal. A rezoning proposal is a risky part of the development process that if not handled well can be costly, time consuming and can result in outcomes that are not ideal for a development project. It is important for developers and investors to understand the local and State processes in order to mitigate any risk to their investment.