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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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The planning system plays an important role in NSW – from keeping the economy moving and people in jobs, to paving the way for essential infrastructure like housing, roads and hospitals.


In 2020 we worked closely with local, state and federal government agencies, businesses and the community to modernise the planning system and help NSW recover from COVID-19.


Here's a timeline of our major planning achievements and announcements in 2020:

24 December 2020
Upgrades approved for three Sydney schools in Chatswood and Darlington.
18 December 2020
Final master plan for Carter Street Precinct released.
17 December 2020
Redfern station upgrade receives planning approval.
3 December 2020 Final Place Strategy for the Pyrmont Peninsula released.
2 December 2020
Festival of Place Summer Fund provided local councils up to $10,000 in NSW Government funding for free events, activities or experiences to enliven local public spaces during summer.
24 November 2020
More than 170 planning rules, policies and guidelines have been slashed to simplify the planning system, speed up assessments and boost productivity.
19 November 2020
Public Space Ideas Competition winners announced.
15 November 2020
Greening Our City grant program allocates $10 million in grants to councils across Greater Sydney to plant trees and deliver environmental innovation.
13 November 2020
A new Priority Assessment Program to support economic rebound will case-manage large and complex projects through the planning system.
11 November 2020 $15 million Your High Street program launched for councils to improve amenity and high street functionality to support local businesses. 
30 October 2020
$88 million to fund new public space projects in Bayside West.
20 October 2020
Draft NSW Public Spaces Charter exhibited for discussion.
13 October 2020
Crucial koala habitat in Sydney’s south west preserved as part of a rezoning approval for a $70 million housing estate in Appin.
8 October 2020
A $64 million construction project in Redfern approved under the Planning System Acceleration Program.
8 October 2020
Dance Locale series of films featuring Sydney Dance Company released to celebrate public space during year-long Festival of Place.
28 September 2020
Approval to relocate the ET Australia Secondary College in Gosford.
22 September 2020
New round of Everyone Can Play grants to improve or create inclusive playspaces launched, focusing on communities affected by fire and drought.
18 September 2020
Launch of $15 million Streets as Shared Spaces program for councils across Greater Sydney to deliver temporary street transformations, such as cycleways, pop-up parklets and improved lighting.
16 September 2020
Shoalhaven Starches hand sanitiser proposal fast-tracked as a key part of the Government’s COVID-19 recovery plan.
15 September 2020
11 projects will be determined by 9 October 2020 as part of the sixth tranche of the Planning System Acceleration program.
13 September 2020
Rezoning of the five precincts in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis approved. Precincts include: Aerotropolis Core, Badgerys Creek, Northern Gateway, Agribusiness and Wianamatta-South Creek.
12 September 2020
Two rezoning proposals approved in Parramatta will inject $264 million into Sydney’s second CBD and create more than 530 local jobs.
2 September 2020
$50 million Parks For People program of new and upgraded Sydney parks co-designed with community input launched.
29 August 2020 Release of the St Leonards and Crows Nest final 2036 Plan.
15 August 2020 10 projects announced as part of fast-track assessments Tranche Five. Determination of the projects to be finalised by 11 September 2020.  
14 August 2020 A new warehouse in Western Sydney will provide nearly 1,000 new jobs close to where people live and fund the ongoing improvement and management of the Western Sydney Parklands. 
13 August 2020 CSR’s Badgerys Creek quarry approved to re-open.
12 August 2020 Warakirri College, a new purpose-built education facility approved in Campbelltown
12 August 2020 Approval for development of the State’s first hydrogen gas facility at Horsley Park.
05 August 2020 A $250 million funding boost for councils to deliver new and improved public spaces for their local communities announced.
30 July 2020 Release of a new 20-year vision for Pyrmont. Community invited to provide feedback until 13 September 2020.
29 July 2020 Announcement of a new land tax discount for build-to-rent housing projects until 2040 and a Housing Diversity SEPP
18 July 2020 Thirteen projects announced as the fourth tranche of projects to undergo a fast-tracked assessment process. All to be determined by 14 August 2020.
17 July 2020 A new 50-Year Vision for Greater Sydney’s Open Space and Parklands launched with a discussion paper open for public comment until 11 September.
15 July 2020 Planning System Reform Action Plan announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA) event.
8 July 2020 NSW Government approves the Victoria Cross over station development at North Sydney.
3 July 2020 Planning panel changes gazetted to commence 1 August 2020. 
3 July 2020 Changes to State and local infrastructure contributions policy announced to allow developers to pay all contributions prior to an occupation certificate being issued.
1 July 2020

Planning Delivery Unit (PDU) established, led by Coordinator General Kiersten Fishburn, introduced to resolve any blockages, delays and issues in the planning framework. 

25 June 2020
The draft Greener Places Design Guide placed on public exhibition until 7 August 2020.  
23 June 2020 The Accelerated Infrastructure Fund (AIF) announced. This provides Blacktown City Council with $45 million and The Hills Shire Council with $30.96 to co-fund and accelerate the delivery of fourteen community infrastructure projects worth $145.99 million.
21 June 2020 Nineteen new projects announced as the third tranche of projects to have their assessments fast-tracked. Decisions expected by 17 July 2020.
18 June 2020  The second tranche of fast-tracked assessments complete. Approved projects expected to deliver more than 15,000 jobs, 3,657 new homes and upwards of $5.3b in economic value.
18 June 2020 NSW Government approves four major rezonings in Fairfield, Villawood, Harris Park and Silverwater.
17 June 2020 Final go-ahead for the new Sydney Fish Market final plans, including construction, use and operation. 
15 June 2020 NSW Government releases discussion paper for the first comprehensive long-term housing strategy for public feedback before 24 July 2020.
13 June 2020 Council accelerated assessment program announced. 
11 June 2020  Approval of the $2.6 billion Mamre Road Precinct announced, one of 12 key precincts in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, will unlock 850 hectares of new industrial land and see the creation of new public spaces and conservation areas. 
29 May 2020  The first tranche of successful projects to benefit from the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package announced with $12.5 million allocated to improve and repair 137 showground sites right across the State.  
29 May 2020 The department published key information on how to stay safe in public spaces in response to new public health orders.
22 May 2020 A further 24 priority assessments announced as the second tranche of fast-tracked assessments. Determination of the projects to be finalised by 18 June.
21 May 2020 The first tranche of fast-tracked assessments complete. Approved projects are expected to deliver more than 10,000 jobs and $7.7 billion in economic benefit and 325,000 square metres of open space, parks and environmental conservation land. 
16 May 2020  An old coal washery mine at Glenlee will be transformed into a 60 hectare jobs hub, with the NSW Government approving two planning proposals from Camden Council and Campbelltown City Council
15 May 2020 Changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 notified to clarify that certain minor works do not satisfy the requirement for physical commencement.
13 -14 May 2020 COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures—Miscellaneous) Act 2020 passed and introduced.
8 May 2020 Streets as Shared Spaces Program launched, with $15 million in grants available for immediate and medium-term temporary projects. Applications close 10 June 2020.
30 April 2020 Regulation introduced that requires planning panels to hold public hearings and meetings online.
28 April 2020 First tranche of fast-tracked assessments announced along with specific criteria for assessment. All these projects to be determined by 21 May 2020.
20 April 2020 Regulation changes have also been made that require online notification of statutory planning processes.
15 April 2020 Productivity Commissioner, Peter Achterstraat, appointed to review NSW developer contributions.
3 April 2020 Planning System Acceleration Program announced to fast-track assessments; clear the backlog and progress projects stuck in the system; and deliver vital community infrastructure.
2 April 2020 Construction hours extended to support industry during COVID-19.
2 April 2020 Planning rules relaxed for food trucks and 'dark kitchens'.
28 March 2020 NSW Government introduced the COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 in response to COVID-19.
25 March 2020 Supermarkets and pharmacies able to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
20 March 2020 New rules allow supermarkets to receive deliveries 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
5 March 2020 Planning changes introduced to help bushfire-affected small businesses and communities.


If you’ve got questions or would like more information, please email the team or visit our news page

Page last updated: 29/01/2021