The NSW Government is seeking feedback from the public on the proposed changes to the existing Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation.

The proposed Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (ePlanning) Regulation 2017 will allow people to lodge development applications for homes or businesses online. A key objective of the changes is to standardise documentation across NSW and speed up the process for approvals.

Updates to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (the Regulation) will support online lodgement of development applications by introducing consistent documents and technical requirements across NSW. The existing process has many variations in document requirements for development applications, causing delays in preparing and determining applications. The 2017 Regulation seeks to address this anomaly by standardising the online submission and lodgement process across the state.

Online lodgement through the Planning Portal will dramatically reduce the time and resources spent on producing and reviewing hard copy documents, allowing NSW residents to lodge and track applications easily. It will also make planning information more accessible.

Proposed changes include: standardising the documents required to lodge applications for development; replacing written consent with legally enforced declarations by applicants that they have permission from land owners to submit a development application; and introducing new requirements for making and exhibiting Development Control Plans and Contribution Plans (financial contributions from developers towards infrastructure costs).

To ensure consistency, the Secretary’s Requirements for the Lodgement of Applications for Development provide a clear list of documents and technical requirements for different application types, replacing requirements contained in Schedule 1 of the Regulation.

The public can communicate their feedback on proposed changes to the Regulation online or by regular mail. Submissions can be made until 15 March 2017.