A New Planning System for NSW

On 16 April the NSW Government released the Planning White Paper and draft legislation for public comment.

What are the big changes?

The Planning White Paper sets out how the new planning system in NSW will function and provides the details around five fundamental reforms:

1. Community participation – involving the community early in the key decisions that will shape our cities, towns and neighbourhoods;

2. Strategic planning – preparing good policies upfront to guide growth and development;

3. Delivery culture – working together to enable good outcomes while building expertise, leadership and engagement skills in the planning workforce;

4. Streamlined approvals – making the assessment of proposals faster and simpler by removing duplication but retaining rigour; and

5. Provision of infrastructure – ensuring planning and delivery for development and infrastructure occurs at the same time.

In addition to the above fundamental reforms, the Planning White Paper also sets out important changes to building regulation and certification to ensure better quality of construction and fire protection over the life of buildings.

Assessment pathways and an upfront focus on Strategic Planning

The below figure shows the new planning system at a glance. As can be seen, the new system will be influenced by upfront strategic planning. The new system includes five assessment pathways that reflect the size and complexity of development applications. These pathways are exempt, complying, code, merit assessment and prohibited. The new Code Assessment pathway will allow a proposal which meets pre-determined standards set out in the Local Plan to be determined by Council within 25 days.

The Department of Planning and Infrastructure estimates that approximately 80% of development will be fast-tracked through the exempt, complying or code assessment process. Merit assessment will continue to apply for larger scale proposals with significant impacts or those that do not fully align with the strategic plan.

The New Planning System – At a glance




















Why do we need a new planning system?

The current planning system was developed in the late 1970s and has since been amended more than 150 times. Many people believe that the planning system has become too complex and difficult to navigate and has not responded to the changing nature of our modern economy and society.

Where can I find more information?

The documentation is available on the Department of Planning and Infrastructure website and in the Council foyer.

You can also watch a video on the Planning White Paper or join in the online discussions.

 Can I make a submission?

Yes, Council encourages Mosman residents to make a submission on the White Paper and draft legislation. It is on public exhibition until Friday 28 June.

You can make a submission online or via post by sending it to:

New Planning System

GPO Box 38, Sydney NSW 2001

If you have any further enquiries about the proposed new planning system, please contact the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure on 1300 305 695 or via email at newplanningsystem@planning.nsw.gov.au.