The NSW Government has made important changes to the new
planning regime, particularly to the complying development and code
After a lengthy consultation process, the long-awaited Planning
Bill 2013 was introduced into State Parliament on Tuesday.
According to the Government, changes have been made in response
to the public comments, including to the triple bottom line so that
environmental and social considerations are on the same level as
economic growth when assessing development.
Other changes the Government identifies include:
all heritage protections to stay in place and a new state
planning policy for the environment and heritage to be
the 35 current zones to stay as they are;
planning agreements will continue to be available for use and
the Bill has been amended so that planning agreements can cover the
provision of public infrastructure and other approved public
councils will have five years to spend revenue from
infrastructure contributions, and can have a further extension from
the Minister consistent with the provisions of Growth
Infrastructure Plans; and
community appeal rights as they exist under the current law
will not change, and the community will also be able to challenge
the making of Regional and Subregional Delivery Plans.
Complying development and code assessment
Complying development and code assessment are at the heart of
the Government's attempts to streamline assessment. The
Government has set out some significant changes to the model in the
final Planning Bill:
code assessment will be prioritised for growth areas, urban
activation precincts and urban renewal areas, as identified in
subregional plans; in other areas, councils will determine where
codes will be applied. Codes will not be required in established,
low density or heritage conservation areas;
code development applications will be notified for a mandatory
14 days before approval;
councils must consult the community on the Neighbourhood Impact
Statement before any code is adopted;
if any development proposal exceeds key code standards such as
height, setbacks, depth, width and car parking by as little as 1cm,
it cannot be approved as code and must be determined through full
merit assessment with community consultation;
councils will assess code applications, not private
codes cannot apply to developments which require environmental
impact statements or could impact a threatened species, State
heritage item or Aboriginal heritage item;
councils will be able to modify the statewide complying
development code to reflect the local character of their areas
provided they demonstrate no reduction in complying development
outcomes. A monitoring regime will also be instituted;
the mandatory notification periods for residential complying
development applications has been increased from five to 14 days
before approval, and seven days' notice must be given to
neighbours before construction begins; and
the Planning Regulations will identify and limit the standards
that can be varied under variation certificates for complying
development, and those standards which cannot be varied such as
height for residential development.
Given the complexity of the Planning Bill, we'll be digging
further into its detail in the next edition of Insights. in the
meantime, if you have any questions about how it will affect your
development or business, you should seek advice now.
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
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The Council announced planning policies to encourage more inner suburban retirement village and aged care development.
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