The first review of planning laws in more than three decades is underway in NSW, launched by the state government on the same day it announced land for 13,000 houses would be opened up on Sydney’s outskirts.
“This is the first comprehensive planning review in 31 years and we are ready for fresh ideas and consultation which will kick-start an era of integrity and transparency,” said planning minister Brad Hazzard.
The review, which is expected to take 18 months, would begin with an initial listening and scoping stage aimed at clarifying the “key outcomes and principles for a new planning system.” A green paper would follow, with a white paper setting out the government’s new framework and draft legislation due in eight months’ time.
“It will ensure NSW residents and businesses get the certainty which will bring jobs and new housing,” he said. The review is to be headed by Tim Moore, former environment minister and current Land and Environment Court commissioner, who the government said will take leave from the court during this period, and former Labor minister Ron Dyer. On the same day the NSW government announced land for 13,000 new homes would be made available in Marsden Park, in Sydney’s north west, and Catherine Field, in the city’s south west. “Our commitment to the south-west and north-west rail links – with work also begun in our first 100 days [of forming government] – means potential residents of these future suburbs can buy in confidence,” the premier, Barry O’Farrell, said.
Mr Hazzard said land release can be accelerated under the Precinct Acceleration Protocol (PAP). The PAP allows Growth Centre precincts to be considered for rezoning earlier than scheduled, provided there is no additional cost to taxpayers and a commitment to forward delivery of infrastructure.