The NSW development industry and local councils now have access to a new Planning Delivery Unit (PDU) that will work with NSW government agencies to unblock planning projects stuck in the system.
According to the Planning and Public Spaces minister Rob Stokes, the PDU will focus on resolving issues in major development applications (DAs), State Significant Developments, planning proposals and precincts so that decisions can be made faster.
“An efficient planning system has proven vital in our work to get the State back on the road to recovery post-pandemic,” says Stokes.
“The new PDU is the new central point of escalation, complementing our Planning System Acceleration Program and keeping transparency, timeliness and certainty at the heart of our system.”
The PDU will be led by former Liverpool City Council CEO Kiersten Fishburn and will comprise a team of up to 30 staff, including a number of senior specialist case managers.
In addition to helping to progress individual proposals, Stokes has set the PDU an initial four projects to prioritise in the next eight weeks that will create opportunities for more than 66,500 new jobs and 50,000 new homes across Greater Sydney.
The four priority projects include:
- The Parramatta Road Corridor Strategy: This strategy will allow planning proposals and development applications to begin being lodged that will deliver up to 27,000 new homes and 50,000 jobs along Parramatta Road.
- St Leonards Crows Nest 2036 Plan: Finalising this plan, after two years in draft form, will allow the new Metro Station at Crows Nest to progress and unlock an extra 6,800 homes, 16,500 jobs and significant new green space.
- Glenfield Precinct: Resolving the re-imagining of the Hurlstone Agricultural College site will allow a new mixed-use precinct to be developed, with a sporting hub, enhanced local centres, and up to 7,000 new homes.
- Marsden Park North (and West Schofields) Precinct: Finalising this Voluntary Planning Agreement will unlock up to 10,000 new homes and see 18 new playing fields and local parks delivered as well as improved road and pedestrian connections across both precincts.
NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet says the PDU will also prioritise project delivery in regional NSW by directing planning panels to determine projects, where necessary, if a decision has not been made within 120 days.
“Now is the time for us to all work together to make decisions quickly and decisively to help create more opportunities for jobs and investment, right across the State,” says Perrottet, adding that, “The PDU is another great example of how we need to do things differently in a post-COVID world and as we move from the response to recovery phase we need to look at fresh ways to get our State’s economy back up and running.”
Image: Crows Nest Over Station Development / NSW government