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Council Planning Performance Report Released

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Council Planning Performance Report Released

July 2007

The NSW Government today released a new snapshot of the time taken by councils to process development applications.

Planning Minister Frank Sartor said the Local Development Performance Monitoring Report 2005-06 revealed which councils were performing well and which were consistently slow.

“This report will be an important source of information as we work with the community, councils and industry groups to further reform the planning system,” Mr Sartor said.

“The Iemma Government is committed to cutting red tape in the planning system to help mums and dads with their home renovations and smaller development applications.

“Every year, councils deal with more than 100,000 development applications worth more than $20 billion – so efficient planning performance at a local level is essential.”

The report reveals:

Councils with the highest mean determination time for all development applications:

  • Leichhardt Council (185 days)
  • Strathfield Council (158 days)
  • Canterbury Council (152 days)
  • Ashfield Council (130 days)
  • Botany Bay Council (115 days)

The data shows these councils were slow in processing both small and large development applications.

Councils taking more than 100 days (mean gross determination time) to process development applications worth less than $100,000:

  • Leichhardt (142 days)
  • Walgett (133 days)
  • Oberon (127 days)
  • Auburn (124 days)
  • Cowra (122 days)
  • Strathfield (108 days)
  • Botany Bay (105 days)
  • Woollahra (102 days)

Councils with the highest proportion of appeals upheld against their decisions included:

  • Ku-ring-gai (90 per cent)
  • Baulkham Hills (89 per cent)
  • Blue Mountains (85 per cent)
  • Wingecarribee (83 per cent )
  • Hurstville (75 per cent)

Councils with the highest reported legal costs were:

  • Ku-ring-gai ($1 million)
  • Baulkham Hills ($989,994)
  • North Sydney ($893,838)
  • Pittwater ($875,446)
  • Leichhardt ($751,605)

Finally, it showed that complying development certificates accounted for just 11% of the total development determinations in NSW (12,698 complying certificates out of a total 117,923 development determinations).

Twenty nine councils failed to provide key data on the times taken to process their development applications.

Minister Sartor said he was writing to councils which were consistently failing to process applications in a timely way, and those which failed to provide key monitoring data.

“I have asked for a detailed explanation from these councils – I want to give them the chance to explain their position,” Mr Sartor said.

“The NSW Government is working to identify bottlenecks at a State level and to improve our own systems.

“For example, we acknowledge that some concurrences from State agencies are taking too long.

“We are committed to ensuring NSW remains open for business – backed by an efficient and transparent planning system at a local and State level.”

The Department of Planning will soon begin collecting data for the 2006/07 report and will introduce an electronic reporting system.

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