O'Farrell removes the right of communities to control local developments


The O'Farrell Government's promise to give planning powers to local communities has been exposed as nothing more than a lie – after the Government pushed laws through the NSW Parliament to remove the right of local communities to control unsuitable developments in their area.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2012 restricts the application of local Development Control Plans (DCPs), which are developed by residents and councils to protect local communities from inappropriate developments.

DCPs provide local detail to the more general planning instruments, addressing issues from environment and heritage to waste and parking.

"Despite campaigning on giving planning powers to local communities, all the O'Farrell Government's changes will do is remove their ability to control the nature of development in their local area," Shadow Planning Minister, Luke Foley said today.

"This legislation will make it easier for developers to override community consensus on what should be built and where.

"The amendments mean developers will have free rein to ignore council and local community requirements, like policies to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill, energy efficiency, environmental protection, architectural design, urban design and the like.

"The O'Farrell Government is giving developers the green light to build inappropriate developments that don't meet heritage and environmental requirements with this legislation."

Mr Foley said the O'Farrell Government was pushing through the laws before the long awaited planning white paper, which is supposed to outline a full overhaul of the planning system, is released.

"It makes no sense for these odious changes to be rushed through the Parliament, when the Government's planning white paper hasn't even been released yet," Mr Foley said.

"Clearly, the O'Farrell Government didn’t want these changes to be scrutinised as part of the planning white paper.

"These changes are all about putting the needs of developers before local communities across NSW."