NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Case management

Planning Delivery Unit

What does case management involve?

When a project has been delayed for too long in the planning system the PDU may get involved, which can be at the request of a developer, council or government agency.

The PDU can facilitate resolutions by:

  • Convening relevant parties to work together toward a solution.
  • Establishing an agreed mediation process.
  • Liaising between the consent authority and applicant.
  • When needed, using the Secretary's legislative step-in powers to make a decision in place of an approval body.

The PDU is not responsible for the determination or approval of projects. Our role is to proactively work with developers, councils and agencies to resolve issues that are delaying decision-making, to ensure timely determinations. Case management by the PDU does not guarantee an approval.

low res criteria infographic

What is the project selection process?

The decision to case manage a project is at the discretion of the Planning Delivery Unit (PDU), which makes an assessment based on whether the project meets any of the following criteria:

  • It is a regionally significant development (RSD) as defined under Schedule 7 of State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011.
  • It is a local development with a Capital Investment Value greater than $5 million (excluding dwelling houses/dual occupancies) with one or more integrated development requirements; or a regional project that delivers jobs and local economic benefit.
  • It is a development carried out by or on behalf of the Crown (under Division 4.6 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979).
  • It is a priority project such as complex or strategic planning proposals or precincts, including projects nominated by councils, particularly where there are blockages with agencies.
  • It delivers of a significant proportion of ‘build to rent’, social or affordable, seniors housing or key worker housing.
  • It is directly linked to, delivers benefits from and/or will be catalyst to deliver state or regional level infrastructure.
  • It provides significant community facilities, public spaces, green infrastructure, social/environmental benefits, quality design, or assists self-determination for Aboriginal people.
  • It has strategic merit by giving effect to directions and priorities set by relevant commonwealth, state, regional and/or district plans.

The PDU may also assist with projects that:

  • have been lodged and are currently under assessment, or relate to a post-consent approval matter (including satisfactory arrangements for regional infrastructure or a planning agreement) with the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces.
  • have experienced unreasonable delays in the determination due to factors such as outstanding concurrences or a referral request with a government agency.
  • have been delayed by unresolved council assessment matters (including lack of appropriate resources) with the assessment time having exceeded 120 days.
  • are for a site that is subject to significant environment issues such as flooding, bushfire, contamination, heritage, ecology, transport, infrastructure or natural/ mineral resource constraints.

The PDU will not become involved with projects that are under appeal to the Land and Environment Court.

How to submit a project to the Planning Delivery Unit

Projects can be referred to the Planning Delivery Unit by developers, councils or government agencies. 

To submit requests, please contact the PDU team via email.

Page last updated: 28/11/2022