Helen Lochhead – an architect, urban and landscape designer, and UNSW’s dean of the Faculty of the Built Environment – has been appointed Chair of the Sydney South Planning Panel.

In this role, Lochhead will oversee major development proposals in the Canterbury-Bankstown, Georges River and Sutherland local government areas.

She is one of five new Chairs that were appointed last week to Planning Panels throughout metropolitan Sydney. They will review projects valued more than $30 million and consider rezoning reviews and modification applications, and give advice on planning and development.

“Sydney is considered one of the world’s most liveable cities, but the challenge is to make sure it stays that way. South-western Sydney is a significant growth area for development and will see a huge population lift in the next decade,” says Lochhead.

“It’s up to the independent panels to assess whether developments are suited to the regions. It will allow for a non-partisan review of the merits of a proposal, separate from the local councils.”

In addition to the Sydney Planning Panel, Lochhead has also recently been appointed as a Commissioner on the NSW Planning Assessment Commission, assessing significant state developments and infrastructure such as windfarms and major urban developments across the state.