The local government sector has welcomed reports that partial planning controls will be returned to councils in specific growth areas, including limited inner-city locations and a range of suburbs on Sydney’s outskirts.
The move is designed to “clear the decks” of planning proposals stuck in the State Government’s own planning system.
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott said the sector had campaigned long and hard to have planning powers restored to communities.
“This has been one of LGNSW’s key advocacy priorities, and it is pleasing that the Planning Minister and the NSW Government have heeded these calls,” Cr Scott said.
“There can be no doubt we get better results when both tiers of government work together in equal partnership, as agreed in the Intergovernmental Agreement recently signed with Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock.
“Councils are looking forward to working collaboratively with the State Government, and with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to deliver the zoning decisions that can best deliver public good to our communities.”
The restoration of planning powers will only be restored in specific areas: Leppington Town Centre, Horsley Park, Riverstone West, Schofields Town Centre and Marsden Park Town Centre, along with Elizabeth St Redfern, South Eveleigh, Waterloo Estate, Riverwood, Franklyn St Glebe and Cowper St Glebe.
Under the plan, councils will be required to sign a memorandum of understanding to ensure precincts are delivered quickly and as agreed.
“Councils are highly conscious of delivering the best outcomes: well-planned development instead of over-development; construction that can be trusted by home-buyers making their largest ever investment, neighbourhoods that bring people together rather than alienating them from each other.
“As we have all discovered, this can sometimes take longer than developers would like.
“Sydneysiders have learnt only too well that rushed development – often promoted through the guise of ‘less red tape’ carries very real risk not just to innocent buyers, but to the credibility of the market itself.
“No-one – not councils, not the State Government, not developers and certainly not homebuyers – wants the Opal and Mascot Towers debacles repeated.”