A new year and a DCP

There are changes to the EP & A Act which are now considered ‘certain and imminent’.  There are no more changes to be made and, in essence, the royal ascent is all that is needed.  These changes always have a flow on effect and can change immediately what may and may not be undertaken. 

In 2010 the Act saw the implementation of the Standard Instrument template for Council’s LEPs.  This brought to light the same clauses and layout of LEP’s across many Council’s in NSW (with only a few exceptions).  Now the changes sought see that same approach taken to Development Control Plans, and Council is now required to implement, and redo, same.  This does result in limiting the irregular and over reaching approach some Council’s seek to rely upon.  The standardised approach provides for a more user-friendly approach to the community and consistency to Council apply it in the assessment process.

It is important to make clear that often clients who have stalled development applications in at Council is due to the assessments misinterpretation of the DCP.  Council’s assessment process will often place far too large a weight on the DCP, which is out of step with the legislation.  Pure Urban Planning has successfully resuscitated many applications to approval.  From time to time we do submit development applications that do not meet the numerical requirements of the DCP, nor does it have to.  This is still an acceptable, and approvable outcome.

Having Council’s implement a standard instrument for DCP’s will require some time for the changes to be taken up.  Rewriting of a DCP can be a time consuming process but done well can make a big change to development.

Cristy Houghton