Media Archive / NSW Planning Minister promises design guide review

NSW Planning Minister promises design guide review

Media Release 20 February 2020 (Sydney, Australia) – Today, Minister Stokes announced that he will be working with the NSW Government Chief Architect Abbie Galvin to improve design guidelines for urban development.

Minister Stokes told the audience at the UDIA NSW February Luncheon today he wants to create an integrated design approach bringing together the Apartment Design Guide (ADG), Better Placed, Basix and SEPP 65.

He stated that the aim of the review is to make the design framework:
1. Integrated,
2. Simple and Clear,
3. Economically responsible, and
4. Durable.

The Apartment Design Guide (ADG) has been problematic due to the prescriptive way in which local government implements the guide.

“We are pleased the Minister emphasised the ADG is intended to be a guide, and not a rule book,” said chief executive UDIA NSW Steve Mann.

“There has been a lot of frustration about homogeneity in development, which has emerged from strict adherence to the guides.”

“We don’t want developments to end up looking boring, inside and out, because Councils’ fear of breaching these guidelines prevent creativity and innovation.”

UDIA NSW has always been supportive of improving good design; however, with over a thousand pages of guidance released by the Government Architect’s Office in the past two years, the mounting complexity has inhibited good design rather than fostering it.

UDIA NSW’s recent submission to the Productivity Commissioner emphasised the need for a more holistic approach to environment and social context to achieve good design.

The Minister said he aims to have an integrated product for guiding design by the end of the year. The last review of the design guide was conducted in 2015.

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW is the state’s leading development industry body, representing more than 500 member companies and agencies across the public and private sector.

Minister Stokes today also acknowledged the industry’s anxiety around the impending infrastructure contributions deadline (1 July 2020), and promised that more information would be released by NSW government in coming weeks.


Media contact:
Mia Kwok – 0435 361 697