With housing affordability remaining a political hot button issue, the NSW government has released a suite of planning reforms intended to make development approval easier and increase the supply of new housing in the state.
The Property Council of NSW has labelled the NSW development approval system the worst in the world, and Sydney is notorious for lengthy approval times.
The changes, released yesterday by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, include standardising the format of council development control plans, removing the 400 different formats that exist around the state.
Developers will also be given incentives to resolve community disputes before submitting their plans to council, with the aim of reducing approval times and simplifying the process.
A new advisory panel will provide design guidance on developments.
The reforms aim to have more DA assessments made by council staff or local planning panels.
The government also intends to create greater transparency on deals to fund public amenities, affordable housing, transport and other infrastructure.
NSW planning minister Rob Stokes said the planning reforms would assist the NSW Government deliver the 725,000 new homes forecast to be required by 2036 to house a 1.7 million more residents.
Stokes said the state has experienced the longest housing construction boom in NSW history, with data for the 12 months to October showing 74,577 approvals, the second highest on record.
“However, there is still more work to do and these planning reforms build on our impressive results over the past five years by making it easier to build new homes,” said Stokes.
“The NSW Government is determined to do everything it can, including making the planning system more efficient, to ensure housing supply gets to homebuyers fast.”
Community consultation is available until 10 March 2017. For more information visit the NSW Planning & Environment web site.
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