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Operations

What kinds of development do the regional panels determine?
How do the regional panels operate?
The step-by-step process 

Download the operational procedures

What kinds of development do regional panels determine?
 
From 1 October 2011, as part of the government's reform of the NSW planning system, the regional panels will no longer determine:
  • development applications (DAs) for some designated development
  • DAs for smaller coastal subdivisions and other coastal development
  • DAs lodged from 1 October 2011 for residential subdivisions of more than 250 lots
  • DAs lodged from 1 October 2011 for 'general development' with a capital investment value (CIV) of between $10 million and $20 million.
The regional panels will now determine the following new classes of regional development:
  • development with a CIV over $20 million
  • development with a CIV over $5 million which is
    • council related
    • lodged by or on behalf of the Crown (State of NSW)
    • private infrastructure and community facilities or
    • eco-tourist facilities
  • extractive industries, waste facilities and marinas that are designated development
  • certain coastal subdivisions
  • development with a CIV between $10 million and $20 million which are referred to the regional panel by the applicant after 120 days
  • crown development applications (with a CIV under $5 million) referred to the regional panel by the applicant or local council after 70 days from lodgement as undetermined, including where recommended conditions are in dispute.

Development that meets the specific CIV or other criteria to be State significant development is excluded as being regional development. For example, manufacturing industries, hospitals and education establishments with a CIV over $30 million are considered State significant. Other exclusions apply.

Regional development does not apply in the City of Sydney Council area.
 
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Part 3A Repeal) Act 2011 (the Repeal Act) commenced on 1 October 2011.  New classes of regional development are now set out in Schedule 4A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the Act).  This schedule replaces the former classes of regional development set out in Part 3 of State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Development) 2005 (MD SEPP).
 
The new State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 sets out the functions of regional panels in determining applications for regional development.  These functions have been transferred from Part 3 of the MD SEPP, which has been repealed.
 
How do regional panels operate?
 
It is the responsibility of the relevant local council to carry out a proper and professional assessment of a proposal for the panel’s determination of the DA. Upon completion by the council assessment officer, the assessment report and recommendation on the DA is forwarded to the Panel Secretariat and form a part of the business papers which are distributed to each panel member of the relevant panel one working week prior to the public panel meeting.
 
The public panel meeting is an important part of the determination process for a DA. The purpose of the meeting is for the panel to hear those who wish to express their view on the DA and the recommendations in the assessment report before the panel makes a decision. Presentations can be made by members of the public who have/have not made submissions to council and the applicant.
 
After hearing from parties who requested to make a verbal submission, the panel makes its decision in an open forum.

The step-by-step process

Step-by-Step Process


Planning Proposals

A separate register is maintained for matters where a regional panel has been appointed as the Relevant Planning Authority or where a regional panel has been requested to provide advice to the Minister. 
 
A register of all matters can be found here
 
Where the regional panel has been appointed as the Relevant Planning Authority and the Planning Proposal is on exhibition, details of the planning proposal can be viewed here.