2017 Media Releases

Willoughby Council responds to draft amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act

28 March 2017

Willoughby Council last night (meeting of Monday 27 March 2017) endorsed a submission to the Department of Planning and Environment regarding draft amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EP&A Act), 1979 - highlighting key concerns around the unknown full impact of the changes, and potential for increasing the range of development to be assessed as Complying Development.

The State Government has proposed the amendments to promote confidence in the planning system with the underlying objectives of enhancing community participation; promoting strategic planning; increasing probity and accountability in decision-making; and to promote simpler, faster processes for all participants.

Council’s submission supports these intentions, as well as:

  • The use of Planning Panels, provided appropriate community representation is included on all Panels and Local Panels are not mandated;
  • The standard formatting of Development Control Plans, provided there remains scope for local content. 

However, Willoughby Council has concerns that:

  • Regulations and model codes supporting the draft Amendments have not been released to date making it difficult to fully assess the impact of the proposed changes;
  • Community participation may not be enhanced as intended, noting that it is difficult to achieve community participation at the strategic (big picture) stage and the amendments are likely to reduce consultation at the Development Application stage;
  • A broader and more complex range of development is proposed to be assessed as Complying Development with no opportunity for community objection. This could feed into community cynicism about the process and lack of transparency in decision making;
  • Council objects to any expansion of Complying Development and submits that the Private Certification system needs a complete overhaul with much stronger regulatory control to ensure accountability within the industry and instil confidence within the community.  

Media Contact
Acting Marketing and Events Manager
Phone: 9777 7703
Mobile: 0455 061 700
Email: Samantha.Connor@Willoughby.nsw.gov.au 

For non media related enquiries contact Willoughby City Council on 9777 1000 or email@willoughby.nsw.gov.au