DAs no longer dealt with by elected representatives

There has been a lot of talk lately about development applications and who has responsibility for approving developments.

It’s important that the community is aware that elected councillors no longer deal with development applications. While DAs are submitted to and assessed by Council, these applications are now dealt with by Council staff or the Fairfield Local Planning Panel, not councillors.

Development that is considered to be ‘complying’ does not require a development application but is certified by private certifiers as complying development certificates submitted to Council.

Where a development application is required, under new rules set out by the State Government in 2017, these decisions are now dealt with by Council staff or the Fairfield Local Planning Panel. Where the development application meets certain criteria, they are dealt with by local planning panels. These criteria include where there is a conflict of interest, if it is considered a contentious development, where there is a departure from development standards and if the development is considered a sensitive development.

Larger scale developments that are regionally significant are determined by the Sydney Western City Planning Panel. The Fairfield Local Planning Panel is made up of three independent expert members and a community member, who consider and determine development applications. While Council officers may make recommendations to the Panel, ultimately the decision rests with the Panel. Residents and applicants are invited to attend these monthly meetings to have their say.

It is my strong opinion that the community needs to have a greater say in what is happening in development in their local area through their local elected representatives but this is now no longer the case. I think it is important that the community understands this.

Development progress

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The Mayor's weekly message to residents and ratepayers of Fairfield City.

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