The Coalition’s draft planning bill is out and our verdict? It’s a fail.
The bill completely fails to mention climate change, climate preparedness or planning for a carbon constrained world, even though our planning system is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions in NSW.
We think this omission is unacceptable.
What else does the bill do?
- New requirements for community participation plans
- New object of the Act: “promoting good design in the built environment”
- Proponents of State Significant Development must consult with the community prior to lodging plans
- Requiring planning authorities to give reasons for their decisions
- Rename the Planning Assessment Commission the “Independent Planning Commission” without actually making it independent
- Power to override heritage, environment and fire safety controls to speed up development
- Internal review rights for proponents but not for third parties and the community
- Development applications decided by planning panels or council staff rather than elected councillors
- Reduce the consultation time for State Significant Development projects from 30 days to 28 days – this means coal mines and motorways!
The not quite sure yet:
- Introduction of a standard form DCP – presently optional
- Ends transitional arrangements for Part 3A projects, but will give big mines 2 months to put in final modifications
If you need some help for preparing your submission, have a quick look at:
- The Greens NSW briefing
- The Environmental Defender’s Office submission
- The Nature Conservation Council’s submission guide