11 NSW councils sign on to accelerated assessment program

Eleven councils will develop a Council Accelerated Assessment Program as part of the NSW Government’s efforts to fast-track planning decisions during the Covid-19 crisis.

Councils that agree to run their own programs will receive tools, guidance and support from Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE).

They also get direction and support from the state and regional planning panels to enable them to “get shovel-ready projects out the door faster”.

The voluntary Planning System Acceleration Program was introduced in April to fast-track planning assessments during the Covid-19 lockdown.

A controls framework for the program was published this week.

In other NSW planning news, DPIE has issued three FAQs about the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code, which aims to fast-track the approval of development applications for dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces (up to two storeys) in middle-ring suburbs.

The code is operating in 82 council areas across NSW. In 46 other local government areas, the code has been deferred until 1 July.