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Proposed reforms to improve the NSW planning system

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Making it simpler to build a home and enhancing community participation in key decisions will be now easier through a package of red tape-busting reforms released for consultation by the NSW Government.

In 2016, the NSW Government commenced extensive consultation with planning stakeholders to devise improvements to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the EP&A Act). As a result of this consultation, a number of amendment proposals have been developed, including:

  • enhancing community participation: establishing a new part of the Act that consolidates community consultation provisions, and requiring decision-makers to give reasons for their decisions
  • completing the strategic planning framework: through local strategic planning statements, up to date Local Environment Plans and more consistent and workable Development Control Plans
  • development pathways: improvements to the various development pathways and preventing the misuse of modifications
  • State significant development: through better environmental impact assessment and more effective conditions of consent
  • clearer building provisions: simplified and consolidated building provisions, allowing conditions on construction certificates and ensuring consistency with development approvals
  • elevating the role of design: through a new design object in the act, and a Design-Led Planning Strategy
  • improving enforcement: with the introduction of enforceable undertakings in compliance actions.

Details of the proposals are available at the ‘Key documents’ tab located here. For information about making a submission, please click the ‘How to get involved’ tab.

For further information, please call the NSW Government Information Centre on 1300 305 695 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..