The PCA welcomes the policy. Image – Canva
  • Explanation for new design policy has been released
  • Planning system will be simplified by replacing two existing design-focused policies
  • Jane Fitzgerald, NSW Executive Director, praised the State Government for listening to industry feedback

Today the New South Wales Government has released the Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) of a new Design and Place State Environmental Planning Policy.

The policy is set to establish design principles and assessment of places within an urban context, whilst replacing two existing-design policies by simplifying the planning system.

The Property Council of Australia (PCA) welcomed the decision with the NSW Executive Director, Jane Fitzgerald, praising the NSW Government for responding to feedback from key stakeholders in the industry.

She remarked there were many challenges under current policies, particularly with the Apartment Design Guide, and was keen for the NSW planning system regime to be consolidated and simplified.

“We need to ensure the final product delivers on the promise: a principles based, flexible policy that rewards innovation and great outcomes.  A SEPP that inhibits or prohibits – or that operates to delay or stymie or that increases costs – would be a retrograde step,” said Ms Fitzgerald.

“Good design – great design – is at the heart of great developments and efforts to lift the standards generally in this regard should be applauded.”

Ms Fitzgerald added that that the current Apartment Design Guide and associated rules often affect innovative design outcomes as they are applied inflexibility or prescriptively.  She says this, in turn, increases costs and time to deliver developments.

Designs will now be considered earlier in the planning process which provides an opportunity to reduce red tape whilst maintaining building standards.

“Getting the right outcome will be a balancing act and should focus on incentivising great design and exceeding sustainability goals rather than simply increasing the costs associated with design via more design excellence provisions in codes and plans or more and more rules,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“We look forward to working with Government over the months ahead to ensure the shared objective of great design and great built form outcomes are achieved.”

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