Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

The Hunters Hill Trust

The Hunters Hill Trust

Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

Where NSW’s revised planning laws lead …

Image: Eugene, The Conversation

The NSW Government is proposing further amendments to the State planning laws.  The community has until Friday 31 March 2017 to comment.  Follow this link to make your submission.

Worrying changes that are proposed:

  • Weaker requirements to achieve ecologically sustainable development
  • Poor standards for native species protection under the biodiversity legislation
  • Department of Planning will be able to override advice from other expert agencies if approval time frames aren’t met.

Corymbia maculata, artist Edward Minchin

Some positive changes:

  • Another nail in the coffin of ‘Part 3A’ (the major projects law that failed on community engagement, transparency, accountability and environmental protection).
  • New public participation plans and clearer exhibition periods
  • New local planning panels to improve transparency in decision making.

Changes that are concerning and should be included:

  • Strengthen the effectiveness of environmental impact assessment in major developments
  • Address climate change in plan making and development decisions
  • Protect community appeal rights to appeal:  reinstate third party merit appeals.

This Briefing note from Environment Defenders Office outlines the proposed changes and their implications.  You can also check their PODCAST:  NSW Planning law reforms, Environment Defenders Office.

2017-03-23T21:58:20+11:00March 7, 2017|

Neighbours and Councils will be powerless …


Suburban tree canopy (Annie Charlton)

The Baird Government is proposing to expand the definition of ‘code complying development’ to include Medium Density buildings.  You wont need to put in a Development Application to get approval to build townhouses, terraces, manor homes (2 up, 2 down) and dual occupancies on lot sizes of more than 200 sq. m per dwelling.

Neighbours and the broader community won’t have the opportunity to comment or object.  Private certifiers employed by the developer will have control. This is a gift to commercial developers.  See more here.

We encourage people to send their comments.  Submissions close Friday 23 December .  Some key points:

  • There will be no way to maintain the character and/or amenity of our suburbs
  • Existing infrastructure, tree clearing, bush fires, flood mitigation, storm water runoff, privacy and topography would not be assessed
  • There are already serious concerns about private certifiers giving the green light to non-compliant developments
  • This poses a broad scale threat to existing ‘backyard’ vegetation or tree canopy – resulting in loss of open space, climate change mitigation and biodiversity.

Read what HHT had to say: Submission on Medium Density Housing Code.

2017-09-03T11:56:23+10:00December 19, 2016|

Update on NSW Planning Bills

The Minister has made no announcement on what he intends to do, so it seems he hasn’t been able to make a deal with the Upper House and is unwilling to accept the amended Planning Bills.  We expect he will probably amend the existing planning system through the use of State Environmental Planning Policies.

deal makingThe Planning Assessment Commission (PAC), the state’s top planning body which considers the largest and most controversial developments in NSW, looks like a rubber stamp.  It has no independent resources to make assessments so 95% of matters follow the Planning Department’s  recommendations.  See for yourself:  PAC’s decisions

Encourage your family and friends to email their local MP using this link

More information:  Government ousts community by the back door Feb 2014.

2014-03-01T07:12:25+11:00February 28, 2014|

Planning Bills due back in Parliament 25 Feb

If (like me) you haven’t had time to email all the Parliamentarians before 25 February, there is a simple link here that will do it all for you!  Yes it is probably better to write a personal one, but a standard letter will help too.

In November last year, the NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, The Hon. Brad Hazzard MP, withdrew the NSW Planning Bills until 25 February 2014 because of the amendments made in the Upper House by the Labor, Greens and Shooters and Fishers parties.  This only happened as a result of the community campaign of letters, emails and phone calls!

We need  your help to ensure that the Planning Bills are not re-introduced to Parliament and do not become law- now or ever.

Together we can ensure that NSW gets a responsible, community-responsive and ecologically sustainable planning system fit for the 21st century.

2014-02-11T12:13:42+11:00February 11, 2014|

Shelve the planning bills

Minister Hazzard plans to continue discussing the Planning Bills that the Government has been forced to withdraw.  The government is planning to continue internal discussions about the bills on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  Email Government MPs before next Tuesday to urge them to shelve the Bills.  


Click here to contact Anthony Roberts Check Better Planning Network’s website to contact other MPs: 

Fight is not over yet:  Better Planning Network news


2013-12-05T22:49:59+11:00November 29, 2013|

Planning Bills withdrawn!

As a result of heavy amendments in the Upper House by Labor, the Greens and the Shooters and Fishers, this morning in the Lower House, Minister Hazzard withdrew the NSW Planning Bills until February/March next year.

This is a very positive development, but we will need to keep on fighting to ensure that the Bills do not become law next year and that our planning system is reformed in a way that genuinely addresses the persistent problems that continue to plague planning and development in NSW.

The Nature Conservation Council has provided a preliminary analysis of amendments made in the Upper House over the last couple of days:   Preliminary analysis of amendments to the Planning Bills

2013-12-05T22:08:24+11:00November 28, 2013|

Oh dear…. the great step backwards

Voted to support the Bills in the Upper House: Labor Party, Shooters and Fishers, Christian Democrats and Government MPs

Voted against the Bills in the Upper House:  Greens NSW

Overall, the amended legislation still represents an enormous backward step on environmental protection and community rights.

BUT the strength of community opposition to the government’s developer-driven agenda will provide a firm foundation for our future work on the regulations, state planning policies and strategic plans.

We want to thank everyone who took action and acknowledge the tremendous work of the Better Planning Network over the past two years.  A summary of the amendments passed by the Upper House will be available soon.   Please take a few minutes to email politicians to let them know what you think of their position. Feedback is very important.


2013-12-05T22:51:02+11:00November 28, 2013|

The bill is in the Upper House this week: phone or email now

The NSW Government does not have the majority in the Upper House.  It needs the vote of either: Labor; and/or the Greens; and/or the Christian Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers to get the planning legislation through.  

Email or phone to  stop the planning bills becoming law:   

  • The bills will make it easy for developers will be able to override local councils’ planning controls to get their rezoning requests approved by the State, by the issuing of Strategic Compatibility Certificates (a green light to a spot rezoning) goes against the very concept of strategic planning.
  • The restriction of code-assessable development to ‘nominated growth areas’ will create 2 classes of residents: the first, in low-density suburbs, will have the right to comment on most developments in their neighbourhood; the second, in growth areas, will not.
  • Will not improve housing affordability simply by increasing housing supply.  This is because the drivers of housing affordability are complex and include tax (eg. negative gearing) and welfare policies which the Planning Bills will not address.

No amount of tweaking can fix the Bills and it’s best to scrap the Bills and work with all stakeholders to draft new legislation.

W h o   to  c a l l   or   e m a i l: (more…)

2013-12-05T22:16:54+11:00November 22, 2013|

Planning bills in trouble

The Second Reading debate have began in the Legislative Council.   The NSW ALP indicated that it would agree to send the Bills to Committee where, as Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Luke Foley, said Labor hopes to ‘improve the Bill to a point that would allow its passage’.

“Luke Foley and Greens Planning spokesman David Shoebridge outlined so many problems with the Bills that it’s hard to see how this legislation will retain any cohesive and consistent structure at the end of the Committee process,” said BPN’s Corinne Fisher.

We can only hope that as negotiations proceed over the next few days, the ALP, Greens and the other minor parties will conclude that these Bills.  Thanks to all who have lobbied and worked to stop these bills.

2013-12-05T22:17:19+11:00November 21, 2013|

Planning bills must be stopped in Upper House this week

Phone or email key Labor MPs and urge them to reject the bill when it comes to the Senate this week.  The implications are V E R Y   P R F O U N D  for quality of life in NSW.

Ask your group members, friend and family to do the same.  


2013-12-05T22:17:54+11:00November 18, 2013|
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