In conjunction with other government policies, good planning can facilitate the growth and development of cities, balance competing land uses, and create flexible precincts that support evolving preferences in how we work, live and relax. A well-functioning planning system can support productivity growth and have broader social benefits. Like all regulation, planning should be effective at achieving its objectives while keeping the costs of compliance low. Simplifying our planning system can open the way for more innovative cities which will attract investment and visitors, as well as making NSW a great place to live.

Draft recommendation 7.1: Update planning documents regularly to show housing requirements

Require councils to analyse housing supply capacity and show that planning controls are consistent with the dwelling needs identified by Greater Sydney’s 20-year strategic plans for 5-year, 10-year and 20-year windows.

Where a lack of capacity is identified, ensure councils revise their Local Housing Strategies and Local Strategic Planning Statements to reflect the objectives identified in the Greater Sydney strategic plans.

Ensure councils immediately update relevant planning instruments to meet 6-to-10-year housing targets and report housing completions by Local Government Area every six months.

Publish annual 10-year forecasts for State-led/partnered precincts.

Monitor housing forecasts and projections on a six-monthly basis. Where housing shortfalls arise, require councils to revise housing strategies and Local Strategic Planning Statements to indicate how the shortfalls will be remedied.

Draft recommendation 7.2: Allow more flexibility

Review and revise SEPP 65, aiming to minimise prescriptions so as to ensure maximum flexibility for housing consumer choice while maintaining minimum basic quality.

Review the Guide to Traffic Generating Developments by the end of 2021 to ensure it reflects current travel behaviour and the best approach to traffic management.

Review parking controls within strategic centres and areas with good public transport accessibility. Reduce car parking requirements within 800 metres of public transport nodes by end of 2021.

Draft recommendation 7.3: Consolidate employment zones

Rationalise existing business and industrial zones in the Standard Instrument LEP to reduce the number of zones.

Broaden the range of permissible activities to ensure prescriptions are reserved for genuinely incompatible land uses.

Expand application of the complying development assessment pathway to the newly consolidated employment zones.

Draft recommendation 7.4: Generate economic strategies

Require councils to prepare economic strategies (including commercial centre strategies) with the aim of increasing employment and productivity outcomes when updating Local Environmental Plans.

Draft recommendation 7.5: Optimise industrial land use

Better manage the retain-and-manage category of industrial and urban services lands in Greater Sydney to optimise employment and productivity outcomes.

Draft recommendation 7.6: Cut NSW planning’s assessment gap

Continue to implement measures to reduce red tape and complexity in the planning system. Bring NSW approval assessment times into line with other jurisdictions’ times by the end of 2023.

Draft recommendation 7.7: Make the most of our open and green spaces

Develop a consistent approach to measuring benefits to community welfare from the provision of open and green space to help inform government business cases involving development.

Develop better options for taking into account green infrastructure and public space in strategic land use planning.

Draft recommendation 7.8: Reform infrastructure contributions

Progress reforms to the infrastructure contributions system after the Productivity Commissioner’s forthcoming review, to deliver a principles-based, transparent and certain system.

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