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NSW makes plans to speed housing approvals

Adam Smith 9 January 2017

housing constructionPlanning changes in New South Wales could help boost residential housing approvals, the state government has claimed.

Proposed changes by the NSW Department of Planning would see the Department step in if councils or agencies fail to move on residential approvals for too long, the Australian Financial Review has reported. The changes would also see the Planning Minister given the power to set up a planning panel on councils slowing down project decisions. According to the AFR, the system is already in operation in South Australia.

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the proposed changes would boost housing supply.

NSW residents worried about housing

“These internal reforms save a lot of time, and in the big picture of housing supply, time is money. However, there is still more work to do, and these planning reforms build on our impressive results over the past five years by making it easier to build new homes,” Stokes said.

According to the AFR, among the proposed changes is a standardisation of the format of councils’ development control plans, which would remove the 400 differing formats throughout NSW. The development approval process in the state was previously labelled the worst in the world by the Property Council of NSW, the AFR said.

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