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Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill submission 

In 2016, the Department of Planning and Environment commenced consultation with stakeholders to devise improvements to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the EP&A Act). As a result of this consultation, a number of amendment proposals have been developed, including: 

  • enhancing community participation: establishing a new part of the Act that consolidates community consultation provisions, and requiring decision-makers to give reasons for their decisions
  • completing the strategic planning framework: through local strategic planning statements, up to date Local Environment Plans and more consistent and workable Development Control Plans
  • development pathways: improvements to the various development pathways and preventing the misuse of modifications
  • State significant development: through better environmental impact assessment and more effective conditions of consent
  • clearer building provisions: simplified and consolidated building provisions, allowing conditions on construction certificates and ensuring consistency with development approvals
  • elevating the role of design: through a new design object in the act, and a Design-Led Planning Strategy
  • improving enforcement: with the introduction of enforceable undertakings in compliance actions.

UDIA’s submission supports the revised objectives under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill. The submission makes a wide range of recommendations, including:

  • Retaining independent planning panels
  • Seeking greater efficiency in the approval process by introducing a definition of “significantly adverse financial impact” on councils in the EP&A Act
  • Removing the 14-day public exhibition requirement for complying developments
  • Standardizing DCPs and upholding a hierarchy of planning instruments whereby DCP objectives may overrule individual provisions of LEPs
  • Reforming levies on complying developments so that levies are paid after developments are completed, rather than at the approval stage.

The full submission can be found here.