New planning legislation in effect

Published Friday, 1st September 2017

Example blueprint

New NSW planning legislation has come into effect today, meaning elected representatives will no longer be able to make decisions on development applications.

Under the planning legislation changes, Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs) will become mandatory for all councils in Greater Sydney and Wollongong who currently have an existing panel from 1 September. Those councils who do not have a panel will be required to implement one by 1 March 2018.

Under the legislation, as of 1 September, development applications will be determined by either the Sydney Planning Panels (SPP), IHAPs or under delegation by Council staff.

Council already has an Independent Development Assessment Committee (IDAC) which makes recommendations on a range of planning issues and increases transparency, however the final decision was made by elected Councillors chosen by the community.

From today, this Committee will become a determining authority able to make decisions without referring them back to Council.