Williams Supports Making Planning Easier For Business

Williams Supports Making Planning Easier For Business

Small businesses in the Port Macquarie electorate will benefit from changes giving them access to receive fast-tracked planning decisions for anything from outdoor footpath dining and new signs to the fit-out of buildings.

Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams said the NSW Government’s expansion of the state-wide exempt and complying development system would slash unnecessary delays for approvals, giving local businesses more certainty.

“The changes will fast-track planning decisions for a wide range of development, with approval times cut to just 10 days for some activities that meet pre-determined standards,” Mrs Williams said.

“This will save local businesses time and money and boost our local economy.

“The changes, which are estimated to save NSW businesses around $76 million a year by cutting time taken for approvals, reinforce NSW as the number one place in Australia to do business.”

Mrs Williams said a wider variety of businesses would be able to move into vacant premises that were used for a similar type of business, without having to lodge a development application with the local council.

“This means for instance that a vet will be able to get an approval within 10 days to move into a premises previously occupied by a medical centre – and the same for a timber yard shifting to a former garden centre.”

“Existing conditions such as hours of operation, car parking, loading and waste management will still need to be complied with to protect the local amenity,” Mrs Williams said.

The updated State Environmental Planning Policy for Exempt and Complying Development would allow a range of development types to be exempt from planning approval for the first time in 2014.

This includes:
· Temporary 24-hour trading for retail, restaurants and cafes in the two weeks prior to Christmas, commencing in 2014, but only in business zones and as long as there are not residents living directly above or below the premises

· Extended trading for licensed premises where approval has been granted for special events under the Liquor Act, such as for the Olympics, Soccer World Cup or New Year’s Eve

· Low-impact signs situated around shopfront awnings and above window displays and doorframes

· Fences which meet height standards in business and industrial zones; and

· Outdoor footpath dining and mobile food and drink outlets (after approval from council and/or road authorities).

“New industrial buildings up to 20,000 sq/m would be able to be approved in 10 days by an accredited certifier, as long as strict conditions were met to protect the local amenity.

“Businesses shouldn’t have to be caught in a bureaucratic maze if their development meets pre-determined standards, is located in an area where the strategic planning and infrastructure issues have been sorted out, and where it doesn’t affect neighbouring properties,” Mrs Williams concluded.

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