E-alert: Changes in NSW planning law
The State Environmental Planning Policy 65
On 19 June 2015 the planning Ministry of Robert Stokes released new guidelines for apartment design which aimed at providing greater consistency, efficiency and clarity in the development application process.
The release of the policy, known as State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) 65, is said to be part of the New South Wales government’s goal to make planning regulations and laws simpler.
The NSW Government claims that the amended SEPP 65 will deliver a consistent approach to the design and assessment of apartments by local councils and to assure there is consistency in the approach of each council therefore limiting the discretional approach and establishing a framework for the decision. The commencement date for the SEPP 65 is 17 July 2015.
How will this help developers?
The guidelines in the SEPP 65 will mean that the Council’s discretionary powers will be limited and that existence of similar developments in the area will be considered when deciding on a development application. The consistency in approach will provide greater certainty and will reduce delays associated with development consents, this is namely a result of the design review panels.
The SEPP 65 design review panels
The SEPP 65 provides for councils to appoint design review panels which can then advise on whether an apartment development has met or could meet the desire and principles and, if it cannot meet the design and principles, what recommendations and what suggestions would they give on ways to comply in order to have the development approve.
The design review panels will conduct site visits and examine how the proposed developments will relate to the streetscape and their neighbourhood.
The introduction of the SEPP 65 over a decade ago has already led to create improvement in the department design and further amendment which will come into force on 17 July 2015 will hopefully provide greater consistency and certainty and a better framework to ensure quality affordable apartments that can make the neighbourhood look more attractive and to encourage more consistent approach design across the state and more certainty for councils, architects and applicants and design innovations.
Should you require assistance or wish to discuss any other planning matter please contact Paul Jayne, Partner – Planning Environment & Government or Bechara Shamieh, Managing Director on 02 8022 1222.