Environmental Planning and Assessment (Statement of Expectations) Order 2021
On 26 November 2021, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces signed the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Statement of Expectations) Order 2021 (Order) .
This builds on and formalises work the Department and councils have been doing to develop benchmarks for a range of planning and development functions that councils exercise under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
The new Order sets out the Minister’s expectations in relation to all councils’ performance in dealing with various measures under three key planning and development areas:
- Development assessment
- Planning proposals
- Strategic planning obligations
Some of the key expectations include:
- 250 days to prepare assessment reports for regionally significant development applications and refer them to Regional Panels,
- 180 days to determine a development application,
- 90 days to make a decision as to whether to support or not support a proponent led planning proposal (rezoning) and submit it for a Gateway determination if supported,
- preparing and review Local Strategic Planning Statements, and
- amending local planning rules to reflect regional, district and local strategic plans.
During the last two years, councils and government agencies have been working hard to ensure we have an efficient and effective planning system that is able to support the state in its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the planning system that has allowed businesses to adapt and thrive, that has given people the confidence to invest in New South Wales and that has supported jobs across the economy. It is imperative that the improved performance outcomes we have seen across the planning system become business as usual moving forward.
The Government has placed similar performance expectations on the Department and other agencies with approval roles in the planning system. There are also new requirements on industry to improve the timeliness and quality of development applications.