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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Ministerial Media Release

Rezoning review to improve the planning system

  • Date: 30.08.2016
  • Type: Ministerial Media Release
  • Author: The Hon. Rob Stokes MP, Minister for Planning

A more independent and faster planning review process that stops rezoning applications being endlessly revived will be introduced by the NSW Government.

The new Rezoning Review will replace the existing pre-Gateway review, enabling applicants to seek an independent review of council decisions on proposed rezonings.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the new process will stop amendments being made to proposals at the review stage, slowing proceedings and wasting time and resources.

“This will end the absurd situation of proposals rising like zombies again and again in an endless cycle of amendments and resubmissions during the review process,” Mr Stokes said.

“The Rezoning Review will also be faster, more efficient and more independent, enabling local decision makers to resolve matters without additional involvement of state bureaucrats.

“A simpler, easier to understand and quicker review process will benefit applicants and the community alike.”

A strengthened strategic merit test will also be applied to proposed rezonings, and reviews will not take place without proposals satisfying this test as a minimum threshold.

The new process will start on September 1. It was created following feedback from councils, the community and industry. Under the new process it is expected 85 per cent of all Rezoning Reviews will be processed within 90 days. All review requests will automatically be referred to relevant planning authorities within three days.

Reviews will be conducted and decided by the relevant independent body, either Joint Regional Planning Panels or Sydney Planning Panels once operational. Rezoning Reviews within the City of Sydney will be conducted and decided by the independent Planning Assessment Commission.

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