Major Project Assessment Times To Be Slashed

13 Jul 2021 regional_development

Assessment times for the Central Coast’s next generation of major projects will be slashed by at least 25 per cent, thanks to a new pilot program being funded by the NSW Government.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said Central Coast Council is receiving $350,000 to improve technology, appoint new and upskill existing staff, and develop new guidelines.

“This will enable large and complex projects to get up and running more quickly by cutting determination times from an initial baseline of 366 days to 275 days within two years,” Mr Crouch said.

“More often than not the planning process is far too slow and this is why the pilot program will focus on expediting the assessment of ‘regionally significant’ development applications (DAs).

“The Government and Council need to be in lockstep with each other to create more housing and infrastructure in our region, which will create new jobs and help the Central Coast bounce back from COVID-19.”

Council Administrator Rik Hart said Council welcomes the funding and opportunity to take part in the pilot program that will bring positive outcomes and benefits to our region.

“With the funding provided by NSW Government, Council will be able to secure additional resources this financial year to improve processing times for regionally significant developments,” Mr Hart said.

“This in turn will deliver greater benefits to our community faster.”

The pilot program will also involve engagement with Planning Panels earlier in the assessment process. Planning Panels are made up of independent experts and local representatives who determine regionally significant DAs that are assessed by councils, ensuring the best decisions are made for communities.

Development is considered of regional significance when the value is more than $30 million, or more than $5 million in cases where it is Council-related or lodged on behalf of the Crown.