NSW planning policy deadline extension is a concern: Chris Johnson

NSW planning policy deadline extension is a concern: Chris Johnson
NSW planning policy deadline extension is a concern: Chris Johnson


The NSW Government has extended the implementation date of two important planning policies by four months, as a sign that planning is slowing in NSW.

The Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code was due to begin on July 1 2019 across all councils after being delayed for a year. But last Friday the planning regulations were changed to give 46 councils another four months to implement the code in their planning documents.

Sydney council Lane Cove has implemented the code from July 1 but they changed their Local Environmental Plan to prohibit multi dwelling housing in R2 Low Density Residential zones which dramatically reduces the availability of land where the code could apply.

It is likely that the 46 councils given another four months to implement the code will also restrict areas it can be applied.

The Urban Taskforce believes the ‘Missing Middle’ code has generated a perception across Sydney’s councils that it could change the character of the suburbs, and we recommended that councils define significant appropriate areas where a town house typology would be appropriate.

Last Friday also saw an extension given to the deadline for councils to produce a Draft LocalStrategic Planning Statement by 1 July 2019 to now be required by 1 October 2019.

The final statements were due on 1 December 2019 but these have been extended by four months to 31 March 2020.

Originally Sydney councils had to finalise their strategic plans by 1 July 2019 but in September 2018 councils were given an extra five months until 1 December 2019.”

The Urban Taskforce is concerned at the slowness of the implementation of these planning policies, as Planning Minister Rob Stokes has stated that his preference is to bed down the planning system so all parties have clear, fixed rules - but it seems the time span to do this is stretching out as the state government and councils try to drive outcomes.

CHRIS JOHNSON is the Urban Taskforce CEO

Nsw Government Planning Policy

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