Major reforms to NSW planning laws

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The NSW government has announced its goal of major reforms to the state’s planning laws and described the system under Labour as “rotten”.

Planning minister Brad Hazzard announced on Wednesday (July 13) that an 18-month review would take place and provide the catalyst for the largest reform in over three decades.

“This is the first comprehensive planning review in 31 years and we are ready for fresh ideas and consultation which will kick-start an era of integrity and transparency,” Mr Hazzard said.

He also asserted: “The community is crying out for change which the new government will deliver.”

The review will be broken into three stages: four months of listening and scoping, six months to prepare a green paper outlining options for change and eight months resulting in a white paper that sets out new framework and draft legislation.

It is to be overseen by former Labour minister Ron Dyer and former Liberal environment minister Tim Moore, who is currently a Land and Environment Court commissioner.

Planning law changes are likely to be seen as a positive by many people with an interest in the industry, including individuals or families considering taking out a home loan in Sydney.

Whilst it remains to be seen what specific results will come out of the proposed reforms, prospective buyers might be keen to monitor the situation closely over the next year-and-a-half.

Major city developments have the potential to lift the desirability of living in certain areas, which in turn can affect auction numbers, clearance rates and median house prices.

For advice regarding taking out a Sydney home loan now or in the future, it is advisable to speak to a mortgage broker about the different options available and how issues such as the steady interest rate, the current global economy and these planning reforms might influence a potential property purchase.

Developer group the Urban Taskforces believe that whilst reform is a positive step, the government may need to keep a close eye on developments even whilst the review is taking place.

“The state may not be able to wait another 18 months for essential reforms,” the group’s chief Aaron Gadiel said.

“If new private investment in our cities begins to dry up, there may be a need to bring forward some changes.”

At this stage the government appears content that initial steps have been taken, with Mr Hazzard asserting: “There was nothing more rotten than the way the former government dealt with planning in NSW.”

 

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