The State Government is undertaking a review of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. This marks a renewed attempt by the Government to make amendments to the Act when in 2012/13 an extensive review and consultation process was undertaken. This included a Green Paper in 2012, a White Paper in 2013 followed by a Planning Bill 2013 – Exposure Draft presented to Parliament. The Bill failed to become legislation partly due to sustained community objection to a number of reforms, including the proposed introduction of what was called “code assessable development”. This current review will revisit some of the areas for reform that had community and stakeholder support but not areas that were significantly objected to.
Matters being considered for inclusion are:
- A community participation charter
- Standardising format and/or content of development control plans
- Pre-lodgement consultation with neighbours for development applications
- Requirements for independent hearing and assessment panels (like Mosman’s MDAP)
- The review and appeals process for development
- Promotion of good design
The Government plans to have an Exposure Draft on exhibition in late 2016/early 2017, with a view to presenting it to Parliament in early 2017.
We will keep you posted of any updates.