Lane Cove Council Discusses Moratorium on Planning Proposals

    Planning is a hot issue throughout Sydney.  The NSW Government wants to increase housing supplies and make it affordable.  The community is concerned about over-development and lack of infrastructure. Local community groups have argued enough is enough. They want good planning and the infrastructure with it.

    The Greenwich Community Association in their August Newsletter asked the following question:

    How much development can we take when we are being asked to pay such a high price in terms of infrastructure and amenity?

    In May this year it was noted in The Property Observer that Epping, Wolli Creek, Parramatta, Burwood, Mascot, Homebush, Lane Cove, Lewisham, Zetland, Leichhardt, Surry Hills sit among the recent top construction localities.


    In May this year the State Government put the brakes on new housing developments in the Ryde Council area.  Ryde Council does not have to assess residential developments, which are not permitted as of right, in the proposed development area. The rationale for this move was infrastructure development was not keeping pace with housing developments.  In the past five years the Ryde Council area has recorded the tenth largest number of new dwellings in Sydney.

    The North Sydney Council also proposed a ban on new housing developments for two years.  This ban was not supported by the NSW Government.  The Urban Taskforce (a developer body) issued a press statement saying:

    Private sector developers are finding that there is major confusion about who is running the planning system and that is leading to a Sovereign Risk issue that is undermining investments that assumed state government policies gave some certainty to outcomes. It is looking like NSW is going into a lock down mode for two years to appease a noisy minority who are concerned about change. The losers will be the young couples and families looking for somewhere to live.


    Lane Cove is Seeking a Moratorium

    It’s now Lane Cove turn to seek a moratorium. At the August 2018 Lane Cove Council meeting Councillor Andrew Zbik (and endorsed ALP candidate for the state seat of Lane Cove) has put forward the following proposals:

    1. Write to Willoughby Council and North Sydney Council seeking to create a working group of Council staff and Councillors to collaborate to ensure common interests and outcomes such as the adequate provision of State infrastructure (including but not limited to schools, hospitals, parks and open space, public transport) are met in respect of the St Leonards/Crows Nest Planned Precinct prior to any amendments being made to each LGA’s respective LEP;
    2. As the planning proposal authority for the Lane Cove LGA, resolve not to accept any new planning proposals involving a residential use as per the Minister’s initiative, until the earlier of 1 July 2020 or the completion of any gazetted amendments to the Lane Cove LEP in respect of any Land Use Infrastructure and Implementation Plan produced by the Department of Planning’s Priority Precinct planning process;
    3. Write to the Minister for Planning, The Hon Anthony Roberts, seeking an amendment to the state policy for rezoning reviews to exclude its operation in the Lane Cove LGA in respect of new residential planning proposals until 1 July 2020 or the completion of any gazetted amendments to the Lane Cove LEP in respect of any Land Use Infrastructure and Implementation Plan produced by the Department of Planning’s Priority Precinct.


    How will this work?

    Amendments to the LEP usually are required when a developer wants to build in an area that is not zoned for large unit blocks or they want an exemption to the height requirements or other LEP requirements.

    Under the State Government’s planning proposal process, developers are able to apply to the Relevant Planning Authority (RPA) to amend an LEP.  This has taken planning controls away from councils.

    An applicant such as a developer or landowner may ask for a planning review by the Northern Region Planning Panel if:

    • The Lane Cove Council has notified them that it does not support their plans;
    • The Lane Cove Council has failed to indicate its support 90 days after the developer/landowne has submitted a request; or
    • The Lane Cove Council has failed to submit a planning proposal for a Gateway determination within a reasonable time it has indicated its support.

    If the Lane Cove Council vote in favour of this recommendation, the ball is fair and squarely in our local member and Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts court.

    Anthony Roberts and Graham Ross at St Michaels School on National Tree Day

    Does that mean there will be no more developments in Lane Cove?

    No, there will still be residential developments in Lane Cove, it just means that residential developments that require amendments to the LEP (usually rezoning) do not have to be assessed by Lane Cove Council and they cannot be reviewed by the planning panel.

    The Lane Cove Council meeting commences at 7 pm tonight. Did you know that members of the public are permitted to address Lane Cove Council for three minutes before the LCC council meeting? Come along and get involved in local matters.


    At the Lane Cove Council meeting (which was action packed and fiery) Lane Cove Council unanimously adopted the above resolution and will now write to the Minister for Planning and ask for a moratorium – stay tuned folks will our local member (who is the Minister for Planning) approve this moratorium?????

    Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at [email protected]

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