Following our In Brief on the Environmental Planning and Assessment Bill 2012 (Bill), the NSW Government has passed the Bill subject to the amendments set out below.
The amendments have produced a watered-down version of the Bill, which preserves much of the current weight of Development Control Plans (DCPs). The amendments:
“it has the practical effect of preventing or unreasonably restricting development that is otherwise permissible under any such instrument and that complies with the development standards in any such instrument”.
As a consequence, the current section 74C(5) of the EPA Act is left substantially unchanged;
The previous wording did not require the objects of DCPs to be achieved.
As a result of these amendments, DCPs will retain their status as mandatory considerations in the development assessment process, and a consent authority will not be expressly required to give them less weight than the provisions of an environmental planning instrument.
Despite the weakening of the provisions of the Bill, it still provides clarity on the status of DCPs and their relative place in the development assessment process, including the express statement that the provisions of a DCP are not statutory requirements.
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