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NSW Government fast-tracks planning process during COVID-19 crisis

Barker Ryan Stewart welcomes the NSW Government’s Planning System Acceleration Program

The NSW Government has introduced the Planning System Acceleration Program which, as it is rolled out in the coming weeks, will seek to cut red tape and fast-track planning processes. This will keep our vital industry moving throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

During such an uncertain and challenging time, the introduction of the Planning System Acceleration Program is reassuring as it acknowledges the importance of the property development and construction industries as essential services.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said that the construction and development sectors will be critical in keeping people in jobs and supporting the State’s economic recovery.

“We are fast-tracking assessments to keep people in jobs, boost the construction pipeline and keep our economy moving” Mr Stokes said.

The property development and construction industries make up almost 10 per cent of the NSW economy and employ approximately 400,000 people.  

What will the Planning System Acceleration Program aim to do?

  • Create opportunities for more than 30,000 construction jobs in the next six months
  • Fast-track assessments of State Significant Developments, rezoning and development applications (DAs)
  • Support councils and planning panels to fast-track local and regionally significant DAs
  • Expedite the COVID-19 planning response by expanding the list of works that can be carried out without the need for planning approval, or under the fast-tracked complying development pathway
  • Introduce a ‘one stop shop’ for industry to progress projects that may be ‘stuck in the system’
  • Clear the current backlog of cases stuck in the Land & Environment Court with additional Acting Commissioners
  • Invest $70 million to co-fund vital new community infrastructure in North West Sydney including roads, drainage and public parks to unlock plans for the construction of new houses

How can Barker Ryan Stewart assist?

Barker Ryan Stewart greatly welcomes the Minister’s announcements to ensure that our industry can operate in a “new normal” by allowing projects to more easily become “shovel ready” so that this critical cog in the economy continues to turn.

This is a unique opportunity for our industry to do our part in ensuring that our economic recovery can best be managed by keeping development moving. In some cases, it may be easier and faster to obtain development approval than before, or the criteria for documentation may be reduced to allow a more efficient assessment. The Minister has already removed restrictions to allow work on projects to be “non-stop” to ensure they are ready for the market once life and the economy returns to normal.

We believe this opportunity will also help provide the industry with greater certainty to be able to provide future jobs, a smoother return to business and new housing opportunities.

Barker Ryan Stewart is well-resourced and positioned to assist in obtaining your development approvals during this time and  we will continue to bring news of these vital changes to the Planning System as they are released by the Minister in the coming weeks.

At present, the NSW Government is seeking feedback on current applications and developments that need to be given higher importance. Barker Ryan Stewart can provide you with the details on how to make your submission directly.

If you have any queries relating to the Minister’s latest announcements, or need any assistance in getting your projects “shovel ready” contact our friendly team today on 02 9659 0005.

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