Recently the Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) released its Guideline on “call-in” of State significant development under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (Guideline). The Guideline sets out the basis on which the “call-in” power will operate.
On 1 October 2011, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Part 3A Repeal) Act 2011 (NSW) (Amending Act) commenced. The Amending Act abolished Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (EPA Act) and introduced new frameworks for State significant development (SSD) and State significant infrastructure (SSI).
The State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 (SRD SEPP) declares development of a particular class or description to be SSD or SSI. The SRD SEPP reduces the classes of development previously considered to be of State significance under Part 3A, notably, residential, commercial, retail projects and marinas are now excluded from the SSD declaration.
In addition to the SRD SEPP, the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure (Minister) has a “call-in power” arising under s.89C(3) of the EPA Act. He may declare “specified development on specified land” to be SSD and, therefore, subject to the SSD provisions of the EPA Act.
The Minister’s “call-in power” requires advice to be obtained from the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC), and made publicly available, about the State or regional planning significance of the proposed development.
If a development proposal is “called-in” by the Minister, and is wholly prohibited under an environmental planning instrument (EPI), there is a simultaneous rezoning process to amend the relevant EPI.
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