New South Wales

Full planning powers returned to Ku-ring-gai Council

KU-RING-GAI Council has regained full planning powers after the New South Wales Government announced the repeal of a state planning policy that overrode council control on certain dual occupancy developments.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard announced the repeal of State Environmental Planning Policy No. 53 – Metropolitan Residential Development (SEPP 53) last Friday, saying the government was committed to handing back planning powers to local councils.

SEPP 53, which commenced in 1997, contained development controls for integrated multi-dwelling housing and dual occupancy. Ku-ring-gai was the only remaining council in NSW where SEPP 53 applied.

The policy mandated that dual occupancy be allowed on residential lots over 400 square metres, regardless of local planning controls (except on bushfire prone land). It also identified key sites for multi-unit development, with the Planning Minister as the consent authority.

"Today's announcement will give Ku-ring-gai Council the power to govern dual occupancy development; no longer being dictated to by the state," Mr Hazzard said.

"For years Labor promised to scrap SEPP 53, but it takes a Liberals-Nationals Government, strong community action, and local members Barry O'Farrell and Jonathan O'Dea, to rid this state of SEPP 53."

"For too long communities have been at the mercy of Labor's destructive top-down planning controls, which have failed local communities and made them vulnerable to inappropriate development."

"Today is only one step in the NSW Government's localised approach to planning, which empowers local councils and puts ratepayers at the centre of decision making," Mr Hazzard said, adding that the government will ensure future developments are decided "by the community-for the community."

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