Minister for Planning: Planning System Acceleration Program

Following the launch of UDIA NSW’s Project Bounce Back – A housing led recovery to COVID-19, the Minister for Planning has today announced the Planning System Acceleration Program.

This Program will:

  1. Fast-track assessments of State Significant Developments, rezoning and development applications (DAs), with more decisions to be made by the Minister if required;
  2. Support councils and planning panels to fast-track local and regionally significant DAs;
  3. Expedite the COVID-19 planning response by expanding the list of works that can be carried out without the need for planning approval, or under the fast-tracked complying development pathway;
  4. Introduce a ‘one stop shop’ for industry to progress projects that may be ‘stuck in the system’;
  5. Clear the current backlog of cases stuck in the Land & Environment Court with two additional Acting Commissioners; and
  6. Invest $70 million to co-fund vital new community infrastructure in North West Sydney including roads, drainage and public parks to unlock plans for the construction of thousands of new houses.

UDIA has been advocating for many of these actions through our Project Bounce Back Action Plan, and for a number of years through our Housing the Next Generation Campaign. UDIA has repeatedly called for acceleration to deliver a stronger development pipeline, with housing approvals now down 51% in Sydney since the peak in September 2016.

These measures will help ensure that shovel-ready projects are able to be approved now, and that industry will have greater certainty to be able to provide jobs and new homes.

UDIA believes that the $70 million to co-fund community infrastructure should place downward pressure on contributions in these areas, while we push for reform across NSW.  UDIA will be following up with the Department what this will mean for infrastructure contributions.

Planning Reform is Economic reform and today’s announcement is the first step toward a housing-led recovery and a better planning system that works.

 


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