THE NSW Department of Planning and Environment last week announced an amendment order to the Standard Instrument for Local Environmental Plans (SILEPs) and two State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs).
The amendments are part of an ongoing approach by the Department to simplify the planning system and provide councils, local businesses and the community greater consistency and certainty.
According to the Department, the SILEP amendments will:
- Ensure hardware and building supplies and garden centres are allowed in General Industrial, Light Industrial and Business Park zones across NSW;
- Allow livestock processors to do business with suppliers from beyond their surrounding districts, by removing the phrase "derived principally from surrounding districts";
- Ensure places of public worship are allowed in General Industrial and Light Industrial zones across NSW; and
- Amend the definition of building height to provide the option for councils to also measure from a consistent reference point.
In response to submissions received on planning for retail development, the government has also decided to establish a Retail Flexibility Ministerial Advisory Committee. This committee will inquire into and make recommendations on how retail flexibility, and the competing considerations of different retail models, can be provided for in the NSW planning system.
The revised definition of 'livestock processing industry' aims to help processors with conducting business with suppliers from beyond their surrounding districts and enable more specialised processors to trade with a broader base of customers.
The addition of places of public worship allows the broader community to make greater use of general and light industrial zones outside the peak days and hours of when most businesses operate in these areas.
The building height definition has been revised to clarify that it can be measured from ground level or from a consistent reference point, to the highest point of the building.
The draft amendments were publicly exhibited from October to November 2015 with 37 submissions made, mainly from local councils, developers and peak industry bodies.