As most Council’s would be aware, the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (the EPA Act) has undergone major changes, a majority of which came into force on 1 March 2018. Whilst, several additional amendments will be rolled out over the coming months and some transitional provisions also apply.
We would recommend that Council Officers who regularly deal with the EPA Act to take the opportunity to review the amendments in detail, however we set out below a brief overview of the respective Parts which commenced on 1 March 2018;
Part 1 – Preliminary (Div.1.1 to 1.7)
Part 1 of the new Act incorporates under section 1.3 Objects of the Act and includes additional objects as follows:
• good design and amenity of the built environment;
• the sustainable management of built and cultural heritage (including aboriginal cultural heritage); and
• the proper construction and maintenance of buildings, including the protection of the health and safety of their occupants.
Part 2 – Planning Administration (Div. 2.3-2.5)
Part 2 sets out changes to the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) which will now be known as the Independent Planning Commission (IPC). In addition, Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAP) will become known as a Local Planning Panel (LPP).
Local planning panels and Sydney District and Regional Planning Panels will be required to give written reasons of their decisions and make them publicly available.
Part 4 – Development Controls and Approvals (Div. 4.7)
Part 4 incorporates the provision for State Significant Development and makes provision for the transitional arrangements for the former Part 3A projects to close, with future modifications to these projects being assessed under the State Significant Development (SSD) or State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) pathways.
Part 5 – Infrastructure and Environmental Impact Assessment (Div. 5.1 to 5.3)
This Part contains a new requirement for concurrence or notification of public authorities to activities under Part 5 within future infrastructure corridors.
Part 8 – Reviews and Appeals (Div. 8.1 to 8.2)
A key amendment made under Part 8 is that applicants will be able to request an internal review of a decision about integrated development, provided the relevant agencies are involved in the review.
Part 9 – Enforcement Measures (Div. 9.1-9.5)
This Part contains provisions in relation to Council’s enforcement and investigative powers. It also contains provisions that were previously referred to as “orders” under the former section 121B but are now referred to as “development control orders”. The respective orders are set out in Schedule 5. The Part also contains the respective provisions in relation to enforcement including civil enforcement and criminal offences.
Further, a new provision deals with enforceable undertakings which can be entered into with persons acting on a development consent which if breached can be prosecuted, but the entering into of the enforceable undertaking needs to be authorised by the Planning Secretary.
For further information, please contact Tony Pickup of Local Government Legal on (02) 4922 2307
* The above information is not to be relied upon as legal advice.