The 2021 Regulation will remake and reorganise the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (NSW) (2000 Regulation). It also introduces some important changes aimed at increasing the efficiency of the planning system.

Key takeaways

The 2021 Regulation seeks to update the planning system to reduce the administrative burden on consent authorities, such as local councils. Local councils and developers should be mindful of the changes and how they impact the development assessment process. In particular:

  • development applications (DAs) and complying development certificate (CDC) applications must be in an approved form aiming to ensuring consent authorities have all the required information so as to avoid delay in the process
  • changes have been made to when modifications can be rejected or withdrawn
  • assessment periods have changed, and consent authorities now have an obligation to be transparent on the days elapsed and when the clock will cease
  • local councils will be required to include more information on planning certificates, including information on State environmental planning policies (SEPPs) that zone land, whether the land is in a special contributions area and whether any additional permitted uses apply to the land under the relevant local environmental plan (LEP).

The Overview of the Regulation provided by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) indicates that the new approved form for DAs will be developed in consultation with local government. Local councils should keep an eye out for the beginning of this process if they wish to participate.

For further information and assistance, DPE has published:

We provide further detail below on each of the following key changes:

  • development applications
  • electronic communication methods
  • modification applications
  • assessment timeframes
  • complying development certificates
  • environmental assessment under Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (EP&A Act)
  • planning certificates
  • existing use rights
  • designated development.

We also set out details of the commencement provisions below.