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NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes has announced that his party plans to rewrite the state’s rules for building and renovating homes, which could make for a clearer understanding of code-complying developments, and remove layers of assessment.

In a ministerial release dated July 6, Stokes said that the first step from the NSW Government in changing the Housing Code will be to rewrite it, creating a plain and simple set of rules for those intending to make basic renovations to their home or property.

This will involve changing wording and diagrams in the Code about complying developments so that they are understandable for everyday people. Stoke asserts that making it easier for people to understand how to undertake complying developments should then result less layers of assessment.

“Rules should be plain and simple for the basic renovations people want to make to their home or investment property,” Stokes says.

“Landowners will understand what they can do on their land and also what their neighbours can do on their land,” A New Planning System for NSW, 2013

This isn’t the first time the Liberal NSW Government has shown its interest in changing parts of the state’s Planning Act, however, it does seem to be a smaller step than in recent times.

In 2013, the NSW Government and then Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard released a White Paper “A New Planning System For NSW” which signalled an intention to overhaul the entire planning system.

Although Hazzard’s ensuing planning bill failed in Parliament, and in 2015 he handed his portfolio to Stokes, it seems Stokes has begun making small moves to carry out at least one part of his predecessor’s goals.

Image: NSW GOV