Planning changes welcomed by LGNSW

Article image - Planning changes welcomed by LGNSW

Proposed changes to New South Wales planning legislation have been welcomed by Local Government NSW (LGNSW).

Announced on Friday by NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes, the plans include: steps to improve community engagement; a clarified hierarchy of state, regional and local plans; and improved transparency around consent of development.

LGNSW President, Councillor Keith Rhoades, said the local government sector welcomed the proposed reform.

"Minister Stokes has outlined his strategic vision for the future of planning in NSW, and we look forward to working with both he and the Government on the detail of these proposals.

"The local government sector has been consulted in the lead-up to this announcement, and broadly supports the reform of the system," said Cr Rhoades.

"The devil is – as always – in the detail, but I'm confident we can continue to work closely with the Minister and Department of Planning to ensure the final reform package delivers the best possible outcome for councils and the communities they represent."

Cr Rhoades said issues still under consideration by the Minister included how best to deliver greater transparency and reduce conflicts of interest.

"This is an important issue for communities, who don't want to see developers given free range to ride roughshod over their neighbourhoods and communities.

"Communities will also welcome pre-development application consultation between neighbours, as long as this consultation is meaningful."

Cr Rhoades said it is important to ensure any moves to reduce complexity did not have the unintended consequence of removing or diluting the necessary checks and balances, and he commended the decision to consult on draft legislation before submission to Parliament.

Details of the proposed changes will be announced later in the year.