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Property News

PIA: Improving planning culture could speed up approvals

January 10, 2012

A recent submission to the NSW government on the development of a new planning and approvals system has been applauded by a peak industry body, but it says there is still room to improve.

Authored by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), the paper aimed to highlight key issues affecting the development of commercial property and infrastructure projects across the state.

The documents produced by PIA were met with praise by the industry group Urban Taskforce, which said that most of the important areas had been covered.

However, the organisation pointed out that they felt one of the most important issues was omitted by the industry report - the growth in a culture that was "slowing down approvals" in NSW.

Chief executive of Urban Taskforce Chris Johnson said that the submission from PIA mentions the issue of economic need to reduce delays in the planning process, but needs to include a recommendation on just how to address the problem.

Johnson asserted: "There are questions in the Issues Paper about who should decide planning applications, including councillors, panels or joint regional planning panels but all of these ultimate decision making bodies rely on planning staff to write up recommendations and to liaise with applicants.

"We all need to work towards a better environment for planning in NSW and that includes government, developers, the community and the planners themselves."

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