THE NSW Government last week unveiled an updated Regulation that it says will streamline development application processing and save applicants hundreds of millions of dollars a year and speed up decision times by up to six weeks.
Planning Minister, Tony Kelly, said the draft updated Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Regulation had been placed on public exhibition until November 5 for public comment.
"The entire regulation is being reviewed, in line with State law, and carry important improvements to the Part 4 assessment system predominantly used by local councils to process 85,000 development applications a year," Mr Kelly said.
The draft Regulation proposes a number of changes, including:
Require councils to only ask for additional information from an applicant once during the assessment process, within 21 days of lodgement;
Require State agencies to respond to requests for their support or advice in relation to a development application within 21 days;
Revise deemed refusal timeframes to take into account the above measures and to reflect the complexity of the proposed developments;
Require consent authorities to apply the States sea level rise planning benchmarks if they are considering sea level rise issues when assessing DAs;
Change classes of designated development;
Improve planning certificates (often examined by prospective land purchasers) to address their complexity and length; and
Provide greater certainty to councils and landowners as to when work is deemed to have commenced.
Mr Kelly said an independent analysis of the proposed changes has shown that they will reduce processing times for the majority of applications by up to 36 days and cut $316 million a year from landowner holding costs.