PROPOSED STATE POLICY FOR REZONING APPLICATIONS
DISCUSSION PAPER- A NEW APPROACH TO REZONING APPLICATIONS IN NSW
The reforms are intended to simplify and reduce processing times of rezoning applications by private proponents and there are significant changes to the current system.Currently
Council can reject applications which it considers unacceptable at an early stage. Under the new sytem Council must advertise all applications even if they are considered to have no merit or are contrary
to Council's strategic planning framework. After Council accepts a rezoning application, it must be exhibited within 7 days,which is insufficient time for Council to prepare public exhibition material. There are clear timeframes for each stage and if Council
is responsible for any delays, the applicant will be entitled to a refund of fees. The State Government supports increasing the number of combined rezoning and development applications to bring about greater economic benefits and allow development to
happen more quickly. Council staff are concerned that consultants hired by the applicant will not assess submissions with the same rigour as Council staff. The checks and balances and independent oversight by the Department of Planning, which was designed
to minimise the risk of corruption, will be removed. The most significant change is the granting of appeal rights in the Land and Environment Court as it will change the development industry's appetite for risk. Rezoning land generates big windfall gains.
Given the scale of potential gain to the developer, it will be worth the risk of trying for a rezoning and appealing a refusal in the Land and Environment Court. Defending Council decisions in Court would cost a lot of money and resources.
COUNCIL STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE REPORT AND COUNCIL SUBMISSION PLN003-22 7/3/2022
SOUTH DISTRICT PLAN PLAN
The Greater Sydney Region Plan and 5 District Plans are now in force.
The South District includes Canterbury-Bankstown, Georges River and Sutherland Shire council areas.
Miranda and Sutherland designated as strategic centres.
LEP 2015 allows for more than double the 10,100 new dwellings that the State Government requested.
Despite this the Greater Sydney Commission has set a 6-10 year target of 4,500 additional dwellings in Sutherland Shire.
Miranda and Sutherland have been nominated as areas with potential for more high density development.
Click here to view South District Plan which includes the Sutherland Shire.
The draft SOUTH DISTRICT PLAN MAY AlSO BE VIEWED via Greater Sydney Commission website www.greater.sydney
STATE CODE FOR MEDIUM DENSITY HOUSING RENAMED "THE LOW RISE HOUSING DIVERSITY CODE".
The Code came into force on 1 JULY 2020.
The Code allows some types of medium density housing to be assessed as "Complying Development" - a fast track approval system with no requirements for adevelopment application, no notification of neighbours and no right of community objection.
The code proposes that dual occupancies, terraces and “manor houses” – 2 storey residential flat buildings with 3 or 4 dwellings on one lot, be assessed as Complying Development. Complying Development is a fast track planning and approval system.
- The Code contains set standards for building height, site coverage and landscaping. If the proposed developments comply with these standards and each dwelling has a street frontage, they can be approved by a private certifier within 20 days with no requirement for a development application, no notification of neighbours and no right for community to object.
- The Code would override Council’s LEP ( Local Environmental Plan) and DCP (Draft Control Plan) standards. It allows significantly greater densities and significantly less landscaped area than the standards in LEP 2015 and DCP 2015. It will result in development that leaves little space for landscaping and canopy trees. It will increase adverse impacts on neighbours.
- The Code is intended to encourage more medium density housing but Council considers that LEP 2015 already facilitatesmedium density housing and that further changes are not warranted.
- Council is particularly concerned about the potential impact on the low density zones.
An LEP amendment to require minimum lot sizes of 600 square metres for dual occupancies and 1200 square metres for town houses in the R2 Low Density zone and a minimum lot size of 700 square metres for dual occupancies in the R4 Environmental Living Zone came into effect in February 2019.
Despite the ammendment it will still be possible to build dual occupancies on 19,124 lots in the R2 and E4 Zones.
NEW STATE POLICY FOR EDUCATION AND CHILDCARE FACILITIES
The State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) for Education and Childcare Facilities streamlines the approval process with the intention of saving time and money.
It overrides council controls for development of new childcare centres except for controls relating to building height,rear and side setbacks and car parking.
There are no restrictions on lot size, lot depth or lot frontage.
New childcare centres may be located at any distance from existing or proposed childcare facilities.
There is no requirement to demonstrate whether there is a need or demand for a new childcare centre.
Councils have no control over operational or management plans including hours of operation.
Proposed childcare centres must comply with the Childcare Planning guidelines of the SEPP.
NEW STATE PLANNING SYSTEM
The State Government’s draft legislation for a new NSW planning system (White Paper) was rejected by the NSW Upper House in 2014. Since then the State Government has been introducing separate pieces of legislation to Parliament to make changes to existing planning laws.
The State Government aims to standardize plans state wide and to fast track development approvals through expanding the use of Complying Development.
COUNCILLORS STRIPPED OF POWER TO VOTE ON DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS
In August and September 2017, the NSW State Government introduced new rules for the determination of development applications. The changes are mandatory for all councils in Sydney and Wollongong and are intended to combat the risk of corruption.
The State Government has stripped councilors of the power to consider and vote on development applications. Development applications under 5 million dollars will be determined by council staff.
The following types of development applications will be determined by Local Planning Panels.
- DA’s worth between 5 million and 30 million dollars
- DA’s where there is conflict of interest e.g. the applicant’s a councillor or council staff member.
- DA’s which receive 10 or more objections from 10 different Households.
- DA’s that seek to depart more than 10% from development standards.
- DA’s associated with a higher risk of corruption e.g. residential flat buildings, demolition of heritage items, licensed places of public entertainment and sex industry premises.
Each council must establish a Local Planning Panel. Panels will include 3 independent expert members and a community member.
Councillors, property developers and real estate agents are ineligible to be members.
Each council will select 2 experts from the pool established by the Department of Planning and Environment and approved by the Minister for Planning. Panel members are required to have expertise in one or more of the following fields:
Planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism, or government and public administration.
The Minister will choose the chair. The chair must have expertise in law or government and public administration. Councils will appoint community members.
Development applications worth more than 30 million dollars will be determined by Regional Planning Panels.
Click here for more details on 'CHANGES TO HOW COUNCIL OPERATES' page.