Sydney property buyers want expert opinions on development decisions

By Sasha Karen

New research by the Property Council of Australia reveals Sydney property buyers want the opinion of experts to weigh in on planning decisions relating to developments and buying off-the-plan, and not those of local politicians.

Conducted by Newgate Australia with a sample size of 1,000 metropolitan Sydney residents, the research shows councils are not being transparent on processing development applications and on town planning.

“The research has shown us that Sydney councils should focus on strategic planning and providing better services for the community, and the decisions on development proposals worth more than $10 million should be made by independent expert panels,” said Jane Fitzgerald, executive director of Property Council NSW.

The research additionally revealed:

  • 85 per cent believe politics and self-interest need to be removed from planning decisions
  • 81 per cent believe planning decisions for developments valued at over $10 million need to be made by experts
  • 79 per cent believe councils need to come up with a standardised method for planning decisions
  • 75 per cent believe utilising a planning panel could keep potential political corruption out of decision
  • 69 per cent believe planning panels allow for decisions to be processed faster
  • 25 per cent rate their council positively on processing development applications
  • 31 per cent rate their council positively on their openness and transparency
  • 25 per cent rate their council positively on their decision-making on apartment building projects

“The research backs up Glenn Stevens’ recommendation to the Premier that there should be mandatory independent planning panels across metropolitan Sydney and in select regional areas and that members of these panels should have relevant qualifications and no conflict of interest,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“It is a common-sense approach that has the support of the community – councils should set the rules and strategic objectives for their communities and then let experts make the decisions about whether developments comply.

“The government should be bold and make panels mandatory.”

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Sydney property buyers want expert opinions on development decisions
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