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Proposed NSW planning reforms for Housing could impact home modification practices and potentially make them more difficult


THe NSW governemnt is proposing changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the EP&A Act).

Some of these will impact Home modifications for older people in a good and potentially bad way. It is important that you have a say as Homeowners and their architects will be expected to engage neighbours in proposed NSW planning reforms. If you annoy your neighbours. This is kind of like them saying, “Who let you into our main street?” Even if you do have the right to be there, this process is draining and you should avoid it. You can do so by simply making friends with the neighbours and stressing that this is a not for profit community project designed to attract foot traffic. Local businesses are often key stakeholders in Renew style projects – it’s good to work with them and keep them on side.

Some key emendations have been recommended, including:

  • enhancing community participation: establishing a new part of the Act that consolidates community consultation provisions, and requiring decision-makers to give reasons for their decisions. This will require persons considering particular structural changes to have neighbour agreement.
  • completing the strategic planning framework: through local strategic planning statements, up to date Local Environment Plans and more consistent and workable Development Control Plans
  • development pathways: improvements to the various development pathways and preventing the misuse of modifications. This will require clarity about what a modification is and how it is defined.
  • State significant development: through better environmental impact assessment and more effective conditions of consent
  • clearer building provisions: simplified and consolidated building provisions, allowing conditions on construction certificates and ensuring consistency with development approvals. It is unclear what these might mean for Home modification.
  • elevating the role of design: through a new design object in the act, and a Design-Led Planning Strategy
  • improving enforcement: with the introduction of enforceable undertakings in compliance actions. It is unclear what these might mean for Home modification.

Your feedback can play a vital role in further developing these updates to the EP&A Act. For information about making a submission, please click ‘ on the links to the consultation package comprised of  four documents::

  1. Summary of proposals
  2. Bill guide
  3. Draft Bill
  4. Stakeholder feedback

For further information, please call our Information Centre on 1300 305 695 or email  .


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