New Planning Panels headed by District Commissioners will streamline regionally significant planning across Sydney, the Greater Sydney Commission announced last week.
The independent panels will start operating on 21 November 2016 and will replace the existing Sydney East Joint Regional Planning Panel and the Sydney West Joint Regional Planning Panel.
Greater Sydney Commission CEO Sarah Hill said the District Commissioners are already listening to stakeholders and residents to shape the future vision for their districts.
"District Commissioners, who understand the strategic vision for their respective districts, will chair the new panels," Ms Hill said.
"We have been talking to stakeholders from day one and are about to launch an unprecedented level of community engagement."
"This means when the District Commissioners start chairing the panels in November they will know their area, the people and the over-arching vision for that district."
Ms Hill said the panels aimed to improve decision making time frames for assessing regionally significant planning applications.
"We are also aiming to reduce pre-gateway or rezoning review timeframes to less than 90 days for 85 per cent of requests," she said.
The Sydney Planning Panels will take on responsibility for a number of key planning approval activities including:
- Determining regionally significant development applications (generally development with a capital investment value of more than $20 million);
- Considering pre-gateway (rezoning) reviews, allowing requests for reviews of council decisions or lack of decisions within 90 days.
Six Sydney Planning Panels will be established, with one panel for each District. The panels will each consist of a District Commissioner and four expert members with strategic and statutory planning expertise. Two representatives will be appointed by the Council and two will be Government appointments.