Greater Transparency In Local Rezoning Decisions

The NSW Government is making local planning simpler, faster and clearer with a rezoning review that will replace the old Pre-Gateway review process.

Hills Liberal MPs David Elliott and Mark Taylor today welcomed the exhibition of the rezoning review which was introduced to increase transparency and provide greater certainty in plan making.

“The Pre-Gateway review was undertaken to see whether it was achieving the objectives for which is was established,” Mr Elliott said.

Currently, the Pre-Gateway review, allows appeals where a council refused or failed to respond to an application to amend local planning rules.

Reforms for the rezoning review process include:

  • Strengthening the test for the review of an existing zoning, taking into account the time since the community consultation on zoning in the area, to ensure rezoning’s only proceed where they exhibit clear strategic merit;
  • All review requests to the Department being referred to Joint Regional Planning Panels and the Planning Assessment Commission within three days;
  • Making the community aware a rezoning request has been sent to the Department within five days of receipt;
  • Increasing the role of the Panel or the Commission, which will carry out assessment and determine the rezoning; and
  • Making the Panel or Commission the Relevant Planning Authority where a council refuses a request to act as the Relevant Planning Authority, or does not respond to that request within 42 days.

“It is extremely important that the planning process always be open, transparent and balanced,” Mr Taylor said.

“The review is on public exhibition for 42 days and both David and I encourage interested stakeholders to have their say to help improve the planning system”.

To view the report, go to www.planning.nsw.gov.au/onexhibition