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Mandatory Local Planning Panels

The New South Wales Government on 10 August 2017 passed the Environmental Planning and Assessment and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Planning Panels and Enforcement) Bill 2017 (Bill). The Bill was assented to by the Governor on 14 August 2017 and will have immediate effect. The most notable part of the Bill is that it will require all Council’s in the Greater Sydney and Wollongong regions to have a local planning panel. The intention of the Bill was described by Planning and Housing Minister, Anthony Roberts to bring “transparency, integrity and a high degree of probity” to the development application process.

Function of the Local Planning Panels

Local Planning Panels are to be constituted by any Council that is within the Greater Sydney Region and the City of Wollongong before 1 March 2018. The function of these panels will be to carry out the consent authority functions of the Council in relation to development under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 in specific circumstances.
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Online Development Applications

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment (the Department) has announced plans to move the lodgement of Development Applications (DAs) online, saving significant time for applicants.

The average time taken to prepare and submit a traditional DA is up to ten (10) days. The Department’s proposed online system has the potential to reduce this time to thirty (30) minutes.

Whilst some Local Councils currently allow online submissions of DAs, the Department proposes a unified system which will be a “one stop shop” for development applications and complying development certificates. In the future the system will connect any type of application to be lodged to any local council within New South Wales.

Features of the Proposed Online DA Lodgement System:

  • standardised requirements for documents submitted with DAs
  • additional contextual guidance provided to applicants
  • function to check whether or not complying development can be undertaken on a property
  • submission and lodgement of complying development certificates online
  • viewing of spatial data of a property online
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DA lodgement to move online

The Department of Planning and Environment (the Department) has announced plans to move submission of a Development Application (DA) online, potentially saving significant time for applicants.

On average, the time to prepare and submit a traditional DA can take up to ten (10) days, however, through the proposed online system this could be reduced to half an hour (30 mins).

The online lodgement of DAs will be through the Department’s Planning Portal.

Whilst some local Councils currently provide for the online submissions of a DA, the planning portal will be the “one stop shop” for DAs and complying development certificates in the future.  It is predicted that the system will connect any type of application to be lodged to any local council within New South Wales.

The Department will need to make amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 to allow for online applications and is currently seeking feedback from the community and councils in relation to those amendments.  The relevant documents in relation to the Environmental Planning and Assessment (eplanning) Amendment 2017 can be viewed and online submissions can be made here.
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