State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP) Review

June 20, 2016 | Industry News
NSW Department of Planning and Environment Announcement

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment announced yesterday that State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) would be reviewed to reduce complexity and simplify the NSW planning system.

The planning process has long come under scrutiny for duplicating controls within local council, regional plans and local environmental plans. The review program aims to cut SEPPs that are redundant due to their content being covered elsewhere in the planning process.

The Stage 1 review has already repealed 16 SEPPs and more are expected in stage 2. The review is to be rolled out in a number of phases.

It appears to be a step in the right direction for NSW, where the planning process is notoriously convoluted, and more complex than other states. The Property Council of Australia’s 2015 Planning Assessment found that poor planning is holding up new housing and adding to costs for home buyers in Australia. “Planning needs to be recognised as a tool to drive economic growth and address housing affordability” the Council’s chief executive, Ken Morrison said.

The NSW Intergenerational Report states that between 2006 and 2012 an average of 29,500 new dwellings were built a year in NSW although the number of completions rose to around 45,000 last year. In the state priorities released last September, Premier Mike Baird set his government a target of delivering more than 50,000 housing approvals every year. We look forward to further logical improvements to the planning process, ironing out the needless complexities that are stalling progress.


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