Planning changes for New South Wales to aid housing industry

51Sydney could be set to experience a larger boost to its infrastructure, with the latest Planning Bill announced yesterday outlining various changes to legislation that place emphasis on transparency and ease of application and execution heading into the future.

Brad Hazzard, minister of planning and infrastructure in New South Wales, recently introduced the new bill, which promises to “return planning power to the local community” while aiding the growth of certainty in planning for the 21st century.

“The legislation will mean that for the first time NSW has a planning system that puts the community first, is easy to use, efficient, transparent and where everyone knows what the rules are, upfront,” said Mr Hazzard in an October 22 statement.

This could be great news for anyone looking into investment opportunities within the state, with empowered small communities providing an easier, more streamlined approach to securing development approvals.

With the projected population growth in Sydney expected to explode in the coming years, the need for rapid expansion of the housing market is imperative to maintaining Sydney’s place as one of the top cities in Australia.

“We need to plan for the future. We need housing choices so that people can stay in their community as they age and their housing needs change,” said Mr Hazzard.

Some of the changes proposed in the new bill include an increasing emphasis on environmental and social considerations when it comes to the planning of infrastructure and housing construction, rather than simply focusing on the economic aspects of developments.

Furthermore, retaining the values and identity of each community is imperative. The bill aims to “safeguard what the community values” and consider the relationship between the environmental and heritage factors, in the face of new developments beginning.

Not-for-profit property group Urban Taskforce have highlighted their support for the bill, stating that it can “set the platform to make NSW number one in the country and ensure future prosperity”.

Urban Taskforce Chief Executive Officer Chris Johnson said that the planning system will help people to get their own housing projects off the ground, or aid small businesses get themselves off the ground.

“There needs to be a robust debate within the community about where the next 2 million people expected in NSW over the next 20 years will live,” said Mr Johnson in an October 22 statement.

“We must all understand that our community has become much more diverse with many people preferring a more urban way of living in apartments while many others will prefer the suburban detached house model.”

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