“THE SHIRE” PLANNING PANEL Under Fire from Irate Residents!

WHAT it boils down to is that the Greater Sydney Community have been robbed of any rights through the LNP Planning Law changes, the Department of Planning & Environment (the DOPE) … an oxymoron right there, and the Greater Sydney Commission all set up it seems to benefit the construction consortia, their international clientele and their own deep pockets as members of the Elite Housing Class

When you venture to the Shire pages you will find comments like this about bad developments …

“We have a development happening behind us. First floor balconies were deleted as part of the approval process which we fought hard for, but guess what folks, the steel works for the balconies went up today and the developer says they are not balconies they are planter boxes that the council have approved. Out of interest friends, these planter boxes are 1.5 metres wide x 16 metres long??? ”

THE PLANNING PANELS CANNOT OVERCOME ANY PERCEPTION OF BIAS!

 

OCTOBER 31 2018

Shire planning panel under fire from irate residents

Residents protest against a boarding house DA in Charles Place, Jannali, which was initially refused, but approved after it was scaled back in size. Picture: John Veage

 Residents protest against a boarding house DA in Charles Place, Jannali, which was initially refused, but approved after it was scaled back in size. Picture: John Veage

 

 

Only eight of the 72 development applications considered by the new Sutherland Shire Local Planning Panel over the last eight months were refused.

 

Fifty-three were approved, a further seven were approved subject to satisfying an additional request and four were deferred awaiting further information.

Sutherland Shire Council released the figures following questions from the Leadersparked by complaints from residents about the operations of the panel.

 

Residents in Charles Place, Jannali, said a development application (DA) for a boarding house in their street, was the last of several contentious matters to be heard at one session.

 

They said the meeting, which started at 6pm, did not finish till after 10pm and the time they were allowed to speak was curtailed because of the late hour.

 

resident in another matter claimed to have been spoken to “rudely”, while there have been other complaints of the panel “not being accountable to anyone”.

Emotions have run high at some meetings, with a woman resident collapsing at one hearing.

 

The state government introduced the panels in February this year, stripping elected councillors of any say in development applications (DAs).

 

Council staff decide straight-forward DAs, while the panel determines those where there is a conflict of interest, contentious development (more than 10 unique objections), departure from development standards greater than 10 per cent and sensitive development

 

Some of these applications were previously determined by the former Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP).

 

Residents, supported by Cr Carol Provan, vent their anger about a townhouse development in Gannons Road, Caringbah. The planning panel deferred a decision, telling the applicant to come up with "a more skillful design". Picture: John Veage

 Residents, supported by Cr Carol Provan, vent their anger about a townhouse development in Gannons Road, Caringbah. The planning panel deferred a decision, telling the applicant to come up with “a more skillful design”. Picture: John Veage

 

The panel comprises a state government appointed chair, two members appointed by the council from an approved pool of experts, and a community representative appointed by the council.

 

The council acts as the secretariat, managing correspondence.

 

Jannali residents were irate when the panel approved the boarding house DA, which was refused by IHAP in 2017 but resubmitted with a plan of management and the number of rooms cut from 10 to seven.

 

A resident, speaking on behalf of neighbours, said they were shocked at the decision because of “overwhelming arguments which proved the application failed to meet Australian Standards and was considered to be non-compliant”.

 

”Our matter, which was known to be controversial and to take some time, was scheduled to be heard last,” she said.

 

“There were several other matters listed for the night, including other contentious proposals, and as a result, we did not leave the meeting until after 10pm.

 

”We were told by the chairman to ‘limit our speaking time to just three minutes’.

“This was quite unfair, particularly when other speakers to other applications who were known to the panel (they were current councillors) were allowed to speak for around 15 minutes.

 

“Other general members of the public were noted to speak for 5-10 mins at least.

The resident said one panel member had to excuse herself from hearing the matter as she had been involved in the initial IHAP decision to reject the DA.

“By not having this member present, we were potentially one vote down in our favour,” she said.

 

A council spokeswoman said the panel was “ultimately accountable to the state government, specifically the Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts”.

“The agenda order is based on a logical arrangement of site visits on the day and availability of access to those sites, and is ultimately decided on by the chairperson prior to the hearing,” she said.

 

“Matters heard by the [panel] are not prioritised to accommodate individuals.

“Both applicants and objectors are provided five minutes to address the panel, however the chair has the capacity to determine if this time needs to be varied.

“It is a decision of the panel to excuse panel members when they have previously heard a matter…

“That decision was based on several factors; to ensure a balanced decision, make sure equal opportunity is given to both applicant and objector and to avoid any perception of bias.”

SOURCE:   https://www.theleader.com.au/story/5714256/high-da-success-rate-angers-residents/?cs=1507&fbclid=IwAR1KLOCc0YiXeYj3prV2u8TgGqyrLCMitSa05KAzX7T09R_9b0VUniEZ3Ck

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Regional planning panel says Cooks Cove land should be used for employment rather than big apartment blocks

The Cooks Cove project has been dealt a major blow, with the regional planning panel saying the northern part of the site should be retained for employment purposes rather than be rezoned for 5000 apartments.

Bayside Planning Panel, in a published decision, recommended Bayside Council should not refer the planning proposal to the Department of Planning and Environment for a fast-tracked Gateway review.

“The panel is of the view that there is a need to retain the subject land for employment uses due to its strategic location and the constraints to residential development, apart from the issues associated with Crown Land and lands held in trust,” the panel said.

 

Regional planning panel says Cooks Cove land should be used for employment rather than big apartment blocks

The Cooks Cove project has been dealt a major blow, with the regional planning panel saying the northern part of the site should be retained for employment purposes rather than be rezoned for 5000 apartments.

 

Bayside Planning Panel, in a published decision, recommended Bayside Council should not refer the planning proposal to the Department of Planning and Environment for a fast-tracked Gateway review.

“The panel is of the view that there is a need to retain the subject land for employment uses due to its strategic location and the constraints to residential development, apart from the issues associated with Crown Land and lands held in trust,” the panel said.

 

The land occupied by Kogarah Golf Club, which would move south on to Barton Park under the plans, was rezoned for employment use in the early 2000s when the original intention was to create a trade and technology park.

 

The panel said the fundamental issue for consideration in progressing the planning proposal was whether there was strategic merit in changing the zone to allow a new suburb with about 12,000 residents.

 

“Should the proposal proceed in its current form, this strategic site would no longer be available for employment land uses associated with Sydney Airport or other large employment generating purposes in the future,” the panel said.

 

“This is notwithstanding that a smaller area of mixed use zone is proposed”.

 

The panel said it was unclear whether there had been consultation with the Greater Sydney Commission.

 

The panel said it “was not satisfied with the justification put forward in support of the higher residential density proposed for the site”.

 

“In particular, it is noted that the Bayside local government area (LGA) is more than meeting its residential targets and will continue to do so based on approvals issued and future developments which are in the pipeline,” the panel said.

 

“Information provided by the council shows that the short-term housing target for the LGA 2016-2021 of 10,150 new dwellings has already been exceeded based on development approvals and completions to May 2018. 

 

“Of the long-term target of 28,050 new dwellings by 2036, it is anticipated that 19,598, or 69.9 per cent, will be reached based on existing approvals, identified new residential precincts and planning proposals (pre and post Gateway) excluding Cook Cove.”

 

The panel said the area was constrained by trusts, community land classification, flooding, aircraft noise, odour; road reservations, air quality, contaminated land; and airport surface limitation.

 

“These constraints raise a fundamental question as to whether or not the land is suitable for high density residential development given the LGA is already achieving its housing targets, and there are priority residential precincts in the LGA,” the panel said.

 

“The panel considers that the planning proposal contains insufficient justification for reducing the employment lands future gross floor area (GFA) from 270,000 square metres to 53,000 square metres, and increasing the overall GFA to 571,000 square metres.

 

“The proposed maximum building height of 25 storeys appears to be at odds with the surrounding highest permissible building height of 46 metres, which approximates 12 storeys. 

 

“The planning proposal provides no justification for this significant increase compared to the surrounding locality, nor is there justification for the proposed overall density of development proposed.”

 

The panel said it had not been demonstrated the loss of employment lands was warranted for the LGA or region in a strategic planning context.

 

A number of residents had expressed concerns about the role of Barton Park and the shortfall of playing fields for the district, which would be created should the proposal proceed, the published decision said.

 

“Concerns were also raised about the restriction of public access to the area of public open space which will be occupied by the relocated golf course.

 

“The panel shares these concerns and notes that the council is to prepare an LGA wide open space strategy.

 

“Therefore, at this time the full ramifications in respect of proposed changes to open space and playing fields at Cook Cove are unknown.

 

“Specifically for the inclusion of public land, the panel notes that the planning proposal relies on the successful reclassification of public land, which is either Crown land, community land owned by council, or land held in trust by council.

 

“The panel considers that the reclassification of public land should occur separately prior to the rezoning of adjacent lands to ensure that the reclassification accords with the intent and spirit and Objects of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979, as amended. 

 

“It is also considered that matters associated with land held in trust by Council must be resolved prior to any decision to reclassify or rezone.”

 

The panel said, if the council still wanted to proceed with the planning proposal, a number of matters should first be resolved.

 

They included the precise identification of each of the interests affecting each parcel of public land and the intended effect of the planning proposal.

 

Other recommendations included the proposal should be amended to provide for a much higher proportion of employment land floor space and lower residential density.

SOURCE:  https://www.theleader.com.au/story/5601088/major-blow-to-cooks-cove-plans/?cs=1507

Updated | Panel refuses application for large housing development on former Caringbah High School site be refused

Sydney South Planning Panel has refused a proposed major housing development on the former Caringbah High School site.

In a unanimous decision on Wednesday, the panel found amendments made to the plans had not sufficiently addressed issues raised previously by the panel and council, and the opportunity the site presented had not been realised.

 

The panel found it was not a suitable type of development for the site, and approval was not in the public interest.

 

More to come.

 

Earlier

 

A final decision is due to be made on a developer’s long-running attempt to gain approval for a new housing estate on a former Caringbah High School site.

 

Sydney South Planning Panel deferred a decision in May last year to give the applicant a chance to respond to concerns.

 

The panel will meet in Sutherland today (Wednesday) to hear final submissions before determining the matter.

 

An assessment report by Sutherland Shire Council has recommended, for the second time, the application be refused.

 

A concept master plan, released in 2016, included 17 residential flat buildings ranging in height from five to nine stories.

 

There would be 656 units and 1181 basement car parking spaces in the development, named Highfield – the original name for the suburb.

 

Under the plans, Caringbah Bowling Club would be included in the development, with a new clubhouse and greens.

 

The planning panel has to decide when it meets on Wednesday whether to give the “green light” to the masterplan and the first stage of the project, which includes 124 apartments.

 

The council report said, “in an effort to assist the applicant in developing the proposal to a point where it could be supported, council provided feedback and met with the applicant on various occasions to resolve the outstanding issues”.

 

“Despite these efforts, critical issues that were raised when the proposal was initially lodged with council, such as the proper integration of the bowling club site into the masterplan scheme, remain outstanding.

 

“Council did not wish to delay reporting the proposal back to the panel any longer, and as such the proposal is reported on the basis of the material which has been submitted to date.”

 

Previous stories

 

SOURCE:  https://www.theleader.com.au/story/5599982/updated-former-caringbah-high-school-site-development-proposal-refused/?cs=1507

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NICK KALDAS returns to audit corruption risks in NSW planning system …

HOWEVER … IT WOULD APPEAR CORRUPTION IN PLANNING GOES BEYOND THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEVEL …  hm …

CAAN has more material to add to the “Corruption” Category!

You may wish to also view these categories in our Website:

-Compulsory Acquisition and Land Amalgamation

-Value Capture

-Developers Buy Access in NSW

 

Nick Kaldas returns to audit corruption risks in NSW planning system

The former deputy commissioner of the NSW Police, Nick Kaldas, will conduct an audit into corruption risks in the state’s planning system, following a string of high-profile scandals.

Planning Minister Anthony Roberts has handed Mr Kaldas a broad brief to scrutinise risks in the system and “make recommendations in relation to the decision-making governance” of state and local agencies.

The appointment of Mr Kaldas, who is to report at the end of November, comes on the back of the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s inquiry into the conduct of councillors and senior staff at the former Canterbury Council.

“This is about building a planning system that people can have faith and confidence in,” Mr Roberts said.

“We want to be held up around the world, that if you want a robust, strong and transparent planning system, have a look at NSW,” he said.

 

The terms of the review to be conducted by Mr Kaldas, who has also served as the Director of Internal Oversight at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the Middle East, require him to assess whether there are government issues that “risk the integrity of the system”. He is also charged with examining whether there are aspects of interstate or overseas systems that could be incorporated in NSW.

RELATED ARTICLE

Mr Kaldas’ review is the latest in a number of anti-corruption measures adopted by the state government. One policy, championed by Mr Roberts, has been to strip councils of the ability to decide on development applications.

That function has been vested in mandatory Local Planning Panels, which enforce planning controls adopted by councillors.

One of the issues at the former Canterbury Council was that though the council used a local panel, known as an Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel, that body was empowered only to make recommendations.

On occasions, councillors voted to approve developments against the recommendation of the council’s IHAP. The corruption inquiry is addressing whether Liberal councillor Michael Hawatt and Labor’s Pierre Azzi had financial stakes in the developments on which they were voting.

The Canterbury inquiry, known as Operation Dasha, also claimed the political career of parliamentary secretary Daryl Maguire, who was caught on tape with Mr Hawatt attempting to secure commissions in property transactions for large “clients”.

'Crystal clear' message Wagga MP must go: Constance

REPLAY

‘Crystal clear’ message Wagga MP must go: Constance

View Source for video links

 

Daryl Maguire quit the Liberal party after it was revealed at ICAC that he had tried broker deals for a “mega big” client with a former Canterbury councillor.

But Canterbury is not the only council to have been embroiled in corruption scandals. A string of decisions at Auburn council prompted an inquiry under the Local Government Act, which concluded that multiple planning decisions lacked merit.

ICAC also this year submitted briefs of evidence against senior staff at the former Botany Council.

Mr Roberts said another anti-corruption measure would be securing updated local environment plans to determine the shape of development in local areas.

“The best way to prevent corrupt rezoning is to have strong local strategic plans,” Mr Roberts said. The government has promised councils $2.5 million to update their LEPs.

Planning Minister Anthony Roberts says he wants to make sure that the planning system is proofed against organised crime.
Planning Minister Anthony Roberts says he wants to make sure that the planning system is proofed against organised crime.Photo: AAP

If LEPs were updated, councillors would be under pressure to explain deviations from those plans.

Mr Roberts said NSW already had a strong planning system but this latest audit was about “strengthening it even further”.

“We want to make sure that the planning system is proofed against organised crime and that’s why having Kaldas in will further ensure we are that exemplary,” the Minister said.

“This is the legacy that I want to leave and this government wants to leave,” Mr Roberts said.

Mr Kaldas is also to hand a draft report to the Planning Secretary by the end of September.

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/nick-kaldas-returns-to-audit-corruption-risks-in-nsw-planning-system-20180727-p4zu0m.html

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NSW PLANNING MINISTER ANTHONY ROBERTS & THE INTRODUCTION OF IHAPS … INDEPENDENT HEARING ASSESSMENT PANELS

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NSW PLANNING MINISTER ANTHONY ROBERTS & THE INTRODUCTION OF IHAPS … INDEPENDENT HEARING ASSESSMENT PANELS

A REVIEW of the 15 Years of Anthony Roberts in NSW Parliament

IN REPLY to questions from the TWT Mr Roberts furnished the following …

IHAPs

Other than his maiden speech he regarded his most significant parliamentary speech to be the introduction of Independent Hearing Assessment Panels (IHAPs); to deliver openness and transparency for the planning system … cough … cough … and to break the back of corruption in some council areas

It would seem from the community perspective the People are done with the faceless bureaucrats appointed by the State Government, and their big developer mates; their corrupt and dodgy behaviour.

And with public concerns that the Planning Minister can override Councils on the membership of the planning panels, and the extent of the power of these panels …

HIS MENTOR JOHN HOWARD …

AR worked as an advisor to the PM who opened the floodgates to high immigration of 300,000 from 70,000 p.a. while scapegoating refugees

(towards the end of the 2004 – 2007 term).

-the 457 Visa was introduced after John Howard took office; unscrupolus employers have exploited Visa workers; broken the Australian Award system

-Howard warned against using climbing property prices as a reason to limit foreign investment, especially from China, and not allow any of that to spill over into hostility to Chinese investment.

Meanwhile a whole Cohort of Australians are locked out of home ownership!

https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/news/dont-use-rising-property-prices-as-excuse-to-curb-chinese-investment-john-howard/

The FIRB ruling of 2009 and May 2017 Budget Reg. remain in force for the 100% sell-off overseas.

With Sydney suburbs rezoned for higher density … including now the New Housing Code
of Medium-Density  … yet another avenue for developers to sell 100% of housing projects (up to 49 dwellings) to foreign buyers.

And the Greenfields Housing Code for dwellings on lots as small as 200M2 X 6M wide!

EXAMINE almost any contemporary political problem from Australia’s growing economic inequality …. the declining performance of our school students relative to the rest of the World … the fingerprints of John Winston Howard

https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2017/12/23/its-all-john-howards-fault/15139476005689

MOST FORMIDABLE OPPONENT … TIME

Perhaps some would say within the 15 years AR has had more than enough time to inflict harm not only on the Lane Cove Electorate but across NSW:

-architect of the strata law changes that allow developers to bribe 75% unit owners to sell out forcing the remaining 25% to sell out

.the consequences may be dire for pensioners on limited income to find alternative accommodation

.high-rise brings additional fees of a lift levy; replacment of inflammable cladding at owner’s expense

AS PLANNING MINISTER

-rezoning Sydney suburbs for higher density; along with the prior private certification and now complying development neighbours have no say

-from January to September 2017 AR met with 53 developer groups and not one resident (appointments diary)

-the new housing code to rob residents of the market value and amenity of their properties with redevelopment of a row of 10 terraces, townhouses and manor houses (a block of 4 flats) on 600M2 lots nextdoor!!

-these medium-density dwellings can be sold 100% overseas

(FIRB ruling 2009 and May 2017 Budget Reg.)

ON CONFLICT BETWEEN SERVING LANE COVE ELECTORATE AND THE LNP

Depends where one resides within the Electorate. It would appear AR looks after the interests of those who reside in Lane Cove over those who reside in Macquarie Park and across Ryde.

Some pockets of Lane Cove have been spoilt by apartment development but restricted to 3,4/5 storeys not 12/20/30/45/60 storeys in Macquarie Park, Ryde, Meadowbank and North Ryde

THE LEGACY OF AR

All of the above and more!

How can 5 million saplings/TOPIARY replace thousands of mature trees across Beecroft and Cheltenham, Randwick and Centennial Park? And with large land clearing of Public Housing Estates for sell-off? Widespread high-rise precinct and medium density redevelopment and clearing of the tree canopy? Ditto for the Toll road network, privatisation of the heavy rail network for the MTR Metro and precinct development en route clearing the tree canopy?

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It’s IHAP day in NSW – and ashes for Blacktown

It’s IHAP day in NSW – and ashes for Blacktown

 

by Graeme Philipson on March 1, 2018 in Infrastructure, Local, Management, Planning, State

NSW’s controversial new planning laws come into operation today (1 March 2018), and not everybody is happy. At the centre of the new system are Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs), which will take over the planning process from councils for all developments between $5 million and $30 million.

Each council is to appoint its own panel, comprising a chair, two independent expert members and a community member. The panels, also to be known as Local Planning Panels, will assess development applications made to local councils.

Under revisions to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the panels are now mandatory for all Sydney councils and Wollongong City Council. “Panels are to be put in place so the process of assessment and determination of development applications (DAs) with a high corruption risk, sensitivity or strategic importance are transparent and accountable,” says the Government.

The composition of the panels will be largely controlled by the State Government, which will nominate each panel’s Chair. Councils will be able to choose the two ‘independent’ members of the panel, but only “from a pool established by the Department of Planning and Environment and approved by the Minister for Planning.” Only the community member will be appointed solely at the discretion of the council.

The Government, predictably, says the new regimen will be an improvement and will ensure the transparency of the approval process. Many councils are not so sure.

Blacktown Council, in Western Sydney, has gone so far as to stage a mock memorial service for local decision-making. It has created an obituary based on cricket’s famous Ashes lament:

‘In Affectionate Remembrance of Accountable Development, which died in Blacktown on 28 February 2018. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. R.I.P. NB – the body was cremated and the ashes taken to the NSW Parliament’

The day before the new law came into effect the council burnt its last Development Application in protest against the move to IHAPs. The ashes were placed in two urns, one to remain in council chambers and the other to be presented to NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts.

“We hope he will keep it as a reminder of how he has killed the voice of the community,” said Blacktown City Mayor, Stephen Bali, who is also an ALP member of State Parliament.

“Not only have elected councillors lost the power to approve or reject development applications, but the community has lost the power to stand up before the councillors it elected to voice an opinion about how the neighbourhood takes shape.”

It cannot been argued that the process of Councillors voting on DAs slowed down development in Blacktown, Mayor Bali said. “Last year, the Councillors only voted on 21 DAs – the other 2,500-odd were approved by council officers under delegated authority in an average time of just over a month.

“Councillors only looked at contentious developments of community concern or those where developers were not complying with regulations.

“Open council meetings are the epitome of accountable, transparent and balanced decision-making. By contrast, Local Planning Panels will be chaired by powerful state-level experts who are unlikely to have the same level of knowledge or understanding of our city’s needs,” he said.

Anthony-Roberts, Blacktown, blacktown-city-council, IHAP, independent-hearing-and-assessment-panels, news-2, polar-slider, stephen-bali

SOURCE: https://www.governmentnews.com.au/2018/03/ihap-day-nsw-ashes-blacktown/

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THE PROPERTY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA … IHAPS START MARCH 1 2018

THE PROPERTY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA … IHAPS START MARCH 1 2018

23 FEB 2018 PROPERTY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs) will become mandatory for all councils in Sydney and Wollongong on March 1 2018 to guard against corruption and lead to better local planning decisions.

IHAP members will have to be expert in one or more of the following fields: planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism, or government and public administration.

The chair must also have expertise in law or government and public administration.

The panel members themselves will be subject to statutory rules such as a compulsory code of conduct and operational procedures for the panels.

The first IHAP was established by Liverpool Council in March 1997 in response to a drastic increase in development in the area, and an increased apprehension of the risk of corruption associated with planning and development matters.

What will local planning panels decide?

Value – Development applications with a value of between more than $5 million but less than $30 million.

Conflict of Interest – Development applications for which the applicant or owner is the council, a councillor, a member of a councillor’s family, a member of council staff, or a state or federal member of Parliament.

Contentiousness – Development applications that receive 10 or more objections from different households.

Strategic Importance – Development applications accompanied by a proposed voluntary planning agreement.

Departure from development standards – Development applications seeking to depart by more than 10% from a development standard.

High-risk development types – Development applications associated with a higher risk of corruption:

– residential flat buildings assessed under SEPP 65

– demolition of heritage items

– licensed places of public entertainment and sex industry premises

– designated development, as set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

Modifications – Modification applications that meet the above criteria.

SOURCE:  https://www.propertycouncil.com.au/Web/Content/News/NSW/2018/IHAPS_start_March_1.aspx

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FACT SHEET: INDEPENDENT HEARING AND ASSESSMENT PANELS

FACT SHEET: INDEPENDENT HEARING AND ASSESSMENT PANELS

VIEW:

https://www.derwentexecutive.com.au/media/derwentexecutive/client/IHAPRoleDescriptionFaqsFinalSeptember2017.pdf

SCANT COPYING OF THE “PDF” DOCUMENT APPEARS BELOW!

Under recent changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979,
independent hearing and assessment panels (IHAPs), will become mandatory for
councils in the Greater Sydney Region and for Wollongong City Council from 1 March
2018.

This fact sheet provides guidance on the new requirements.

What are IHAPs?

IHAPs are panels of independent experts that determine development applications on
behalf of a council, and provide other advice to council on planning matters.
When designed and implemented in the right way, these panels bring a range of
benefits to the planning system, including:
• reducing the risk of conflict of interest and corruption, by ensuring that development
decisions are made by people who are independent of developers
• better planning outcomes as development applications are determined on their
technical merit by qualified experts, in line with the planning controls that applyin
the local area
• elevating the role of the council to focus on strategic planning that delivers on the
community’s goals and priorities.

Strategic role of councils

A key benefit of the panel model is that it frees local councils to focus its efforts on
strategic leadership in the planning system.

This includes delivering great strategic planning that involves the community in
establishing the vision, goals and priorities for land use in the local area.

Fact sheet: independent hearing and assessment panels | September 2017 2

It also includes the critical task of ensuring that local development controls – governing
what types of development are permissible in the local area – are up-to-date and in line
with the strategic plan. These controls are found in the local environmental plan and
the development control plans prepared by council.

When these strategic functions are performed well, the task of assessing and
determining individual development applications becomes a technical matter of
assessing the application’s merits against the rules that the council has set. It is
appropriate that technical experts – on panels or the council’s planning staff – perform
this task.

The new role of IHAPs

Under the new provisions of the Act, councillors in Sydney and Wollongong will no
longer be able to determine development applications. This function will be performed
by either the IHAP, council staff, or the relevant regional panel (the joint regional
planning panel or Sydney planning panel).

The Minister for Planning will make directions that set out the types of development
applications to be determined by IHAPs. These applications are proposed to include:

• development applications with a value of over $5 million (but less than $30 million,
as these will be determined by regional planning panels)
• development applications for which the applicant or owner is the council, a
councillor, a member of the councillor’s family, a member of council staff, or a state
or federal member of parliament
• development applications that receive 10 or more objections from different
households
• development applications accompanied by a voluntary planning agreement
• development applications seeking to depart by more than 10% from a development
standard
• applications for development that is associated with a higher risk of corruption:
– residential flat buildings assessed under SEPP 65
– demolition of heritage items

Fact sheet: independent hearing and assessment panels | September 2017 3

– licensed premises of public entertainment and sex industry premises
– designated development, as set out in the Environmental Planning and
Assessment Regulation 2000

• modification applications that meet the above criteria.

All other development applications will be determined by council staff, or by the
regional planning panel. The vast majority of applications will be determined by council
staff, as is currently the case for most councils in NSW. This remains the most efficient
and appropriate pathway for most applications.

The triggers for regional planning panels becoming the consent authority are currently
set out in a schedule to the Act, but will move to the State Environmental Planning
Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011. The key trigger is that regional
planning panels determine development applications valued at more than $20 million.
From 1 March 2018, this threshold will increase to $30 million, so that more
development will be determined at the local level, either by IHAPs or council staff.

IHAPs will also provide advice to council on planning proposals (proposals to change
the local environmental plan), such as rezonings. The final decision about whether to
proceed with a rezoning will remain with the council, consistent with the council’s
strategic planning role. The IHAP will help the council make this decision by providing
independent, expert advice on the merit of the proposal.

Who will sit on panels?

Each IHAP will consist of a chair, two other expert members and a community
representative.

The chair and the other expert members must be qualified in at least one of the
following areas: planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design,
economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism, or government and public
administration.

The chair must at least have expertise in law or government and public administration.

The Department of Planning and Environment is establishing a pool of independent,
suitably qualified persons from which the chair and expert members must be drawn.
The Minister for Planning will approve the persons in this pool

p4

The Minister will choose the chair of each panel, and the council will choose the two
other expert members.

The fourth panel member will be a community representative, to enhance the panel’s
knowledge of local matters. This person will be chosen by the council and does not
have to be an expert in one of the fields listed above.

Where a local government area is divided into wards, the community representative
must represent the interests of the ward in which the proposed development would
take place.

The diagram below illustrates how the IHAP is appointed.

LOCAL PLANNING PANELS HOW PEOPLE ARE APPOINTED – CANNOT COPY!
PAGES 10, 11

How do I apply to become a member of an IHAP?

Councillors, property developers and real estate agents cannot be IHAP members. If a
panel member becomes a councillor, property developer or real estate agent, he or she
will cease to be a panel member.

Chairs and other experts can sit on more than one IHAP, as long as they have been
selected from the expert pool and there is no conflict of interest.

Councils will be able to appoint alternate expert members, as members will not always
be available to participate in the determination process for a variety of reasons, such
as a conflict of interest or availability.

Councils are encouraged to have a pool of community representatives for the IHAP, to
ensure ward representation and that there is always a quorum for each meeting.
Fact sheet: independent hearing and assessment panels | September 2017 6
What are the terms of appointment for panel members?

Panel members are appointed for up to three years, and can sit on a single panel for a
maximum of six years.

Membership of a panel is a part-time role. Remuneration and allowance will be set by
the Minister for Planning. Rates are likely to be based on the current rates for chairs
and members of regional planning panels.

The council may remove a panel member at any time. However, a written statement of
reasons must be made publicly available.

Panel operations

The Act sets out some key requirements for how panels must operate. For example,
the panel must conduct its meetings in public and give written reasons for its decisions.
A notice must be published detailing the time and location of meetings.

The Minister will also set more detailed directions about how panels must operate,
drawing on the procedures for regional planning panels and existing IHAPs. These will
relate to matters such as how meetings and site visits should be conducted, voting
procedures and reporting requirements.

There should be four panel members making each decision: the chair, two expert
members and the community representative. The quorum for a panel meeting is three
members.

The Act requires that IHAP members must disclose any pecuniary interests that arise
in relation to a matter referred to the panel, and cannot take part in that decision.
The Minister for Planning will approve a code of conduct for IHAPs. The code will set
out the expected standard of behaviour required of panel members, including
managing conflicts of interest and reporting any approaches from developers.

Operating costs for IHAPs

The council will be responsible for meeting the operating costs of the panel. This
includes sitting fees for members.

The Act requires that the council is to provide staff and facilities to enable the panel to
exercise its functions.

The Department estimates the annual costs of operating an IHAP to be around
$100,000 a year for each council. Costs will depend on how often a panel is required to
meet, which will differ depending on the number of development applications.

Two or more councils can share a panel if they consider this would be cheaper or more
efficient.

What happens to council’s existing panels?

Several councils in Sydney and Wollongong already have IHAPs.

These panels must remain in place until 1 March 2018, operating generally under their
current arrangements.

A key difference affects councils whose existing IHAPs are advisory rather than
determinative (that is, the panel provides recommendations to council on development
applications, but council retains the role of making final decisions). From 1 September
2017, these councils will no longer be able to determine development applications.

Their IHAPs must take on this role, or else decisions must be delegated to council
staff.

From 1 March 2018, councils with existing IHAPs must ensure that the membership
and operations of their panels are consistent with the new provisions in the Act. This
includes ensuring that panels determine the types of development set out in the
Minister’s directions.

Councils with well-functioning IHAPs are encouraged to have the current members of
their IHAPs apply for inclusion in the pool of experts being established by the
Department. If approved, those members will then be available for the council to select
for its new IHAP.

Role Statement: Chairs and members for the Independent Hearing and Assessment
Panels

1. Scope

The scope of this Statement of Appointment is for the appointment of Chairs and
members to Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAP) for each council in the
Greater Sydney Region and Wollongong. The creation of these IHAPs is empowered
through the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the Act).
Description of Entity

The IHAPs are constituted under the Act and are independent bodies and are not subject
to the direction of the Council, or Minister, except on matters relating to IHAP
procedures. The Chairs and members are required to be experts in at least one area of
planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, economics, traffic and
transport, law, engineering, tourism, or government and public administration. The
Chairs must have expertise in at least law or government and public administration.
The principal functions of the IHAPs are to determine local development applications
(DAs) and provide advice on planning proposals.

2. Capability Areas

IHAP Chairs and members must be able to demonstrate the following:

a. An ability to communicate complex and sensitive information in a tactful manner
to all planning panel stakeholders;

b. A sound understanding of:
i. Accountability measures;
ii. The planning and environmental framework of NSW, and legislative
process;
iii. The business and environment in which the panel will operate; and
iv. Risk management principles.

c. Extensive senior level experience in a designated area of expertise relevant to
IHAPs;

d. A professional and ethical approach to the exercise of duties;

e. Qualification, related industry experience and subject matter expertise in a
relevant field.
Chairs should additionally be able to demonstrate:

f. Leadership qualities and the ability to promote effective working relationships in
complex organisations;

g. Extensive knowledge in areas such as: risk management, management control
frameworks, and governance and business operations;

h. A capacity to form independent judgements and willingness to constructively
challenge suggested approach, with a view to tact and inclusion of all relevant
opinions of the panel.

3. Competencies – Role Related

The following competencies are required to be successful in the role:
 Knowledge and Specialist Expertise – to be viewed as the authority in one or
more of the following disciplines: planning, architecture, heritage, the
environment, urban design, economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering,
tourism, or government and public administration.
Chairs must have expertise in at least law or government and public
administration.
 Communication – ability to communicate technical matters and decisions with a
diverse range of stakeholders.
Chairs must also be able to:
 Facilitate Leadership – the ability to inform and debrief fellow panel members
and relevant stakeholders on current matters and strategies, and the ability to
lead constructive and timely discussion and debate, drawing on the expertise of
the panel to review strategies.
 Influence, Negotiate and Drive – the demonstrated ability to influence a variety
of stakeholders, negotiate suggested approach with the business and drive
contentious strategies against organisational resistance.
 Management of Risk– experience in managing areas of major risk to the
organisation.

4. Competencies – Personal

The following are personal competencies which will form part of an effective individual in either of these roles, however Chair candidates would be expected to show these at a
higher level:

 Integrity – fulfilling a Panel member’s duties and responsibilities, acting
ethically, not disclosing commercial in confidence information, having
appropriate independence, putting the panel’s interest before personal interests.
 Collegial Communicator – the ability to engage and communicate with all
relevant stakeholders.
 Emotional Intelligence – as well as self-awareness and self-management.
 Commercial Astuteness – demonstrated good business instinct and acumen,
and be able to use this in a variety of situations.
 Commercial Judgement and Instinct – all Panel members need to
demonstrate good business instinct and acumen to be able to assimilate and
synthesise complex information.
 Be an active contributor with genuine interest in the panel and its business.

5. Remuneration
To be set by the Minister.

6. Term of Appointment
The maximum term for a single appointment to a panel is up to three (3) years.

To apply and for a copy of the Role Statement and further information about the Independent Hearing and
Assessment Panels, please refer to the Derwent Executive website:

http://www.derwentexecutive.com.au and
search for reference 22751. Applications should include a cover letter addressing the

Capability Areas in
the Role Statement and your current resume.

• For more information please refer to the Department of Planning and Environment website at

http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au or contact Andrew McEncroe at Derwent Executive, on (02) 9223 1855
for any queries about the positions.

Value Development applications with a value of between more than $5 million but
less than $30 million.

Conflict of interest Development applications for which the applicant or owner is the council, a councillor, a member of a councillor’s family, a member of council staff, or a
state or federal member of Parliament.

Contentiousness Development applications that receive 10 or more objections from different households.

Strategic importance

Development applications accompanied by a proposed voluntary planning agreement.

Departure from development standards
Development applications seeking to depart by more than 10% from a development standard.

High-risk development types
Development applications associated with a higher risk of corruption:
residential flat buildings assessed under SEPP 65 demolition of heritage items
licensed places of public entertainment and sex industry premises
designated development, as set out in the Environmental Planning and
Assessment Regulation 2000.

Modifications Modification applications that meet the above criteria.

Media Release – Rethink mandatory IHAPS, says local government

 

Media Release – Rethink mandatory IHAPS, says local government

16 February 2018

Local Government NSW President Linda Scott has urged Planning Minister Anthony Roberts to rethink the mandatory imposition of new local planning panels known as Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs).

Planning Minister Anthony Roberts has claimed the IHAPs are all about probity, but the local government sector says they actually erode the community’s democratic right to help determine what happens in their neighbourhood.

“IHAPs have the potential to actually reduce the accountability and transparency of planning decisions,” Cr Scott said.

“Councillors are elected by and accountable to the community, while panels are not.

“And to make matters worse, ratepayers will have to foot the bill for this new layer of bureaucracy being introduced from next month for Sydney and Wollongong.

“The legislation requires councils to bear the full cost of these panels – about $100,000 each, according to estimates by the Department of Planning and Environment.

“This means less funding for local parks, childcare centres and libraries in local communities.

“Councils will be keeping close track of the costs and will take the Government up on its commitment to recover net costs from the beneficiaries of development.”

Less than 3% of development applications (DAs) are currently referred to a council meeting for determination, with 97% being approved by professional planning staff under delegation.

LGNSW has consistently argued that councils and communities should not have an additional layer of bureaucracy imposed on them.

“Democratically-elected councils should be able to determine whether the panel option is the right choice for their area and whether there are real benefits to the community,” Cr Scott said.

“Ratepayers should be able to have confidence that they have a voice at the table via their elected representatives.

“A one-size-fits-all approach will never work in the many and varied neighbourhoods that make up Sydney and Wollongong.

“I’d urge the Planning Minister to rethink this move, and work in partnership with the local government sector to develop a better local planning system.”

SOURCE:  https://www.lgnsw.org.au/news/media-release/media-release-rethink-mandatory-ihaps-says-local-government

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WSROC Board slams IHAPs legislation

Timber frame for a new home in Western Sydney.

 

WSROC Board slams IHAPs legislation

Media release, 27 February, 2018

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called out the NSW Government’s mandatory Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs) as another round of undemocratic local government reform.

WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “This is another example of half-baked policy that is more concerned about the image of the state government than improving outcomes for local communities.

“Councils have implemented local solutions to improve transparency and accountability but unfortunately the model being implemented by the NSW Government will stop local residents exercising their democratic input, and will be expensive for ratepayers to fund.

“The IHAPs model will replace a diverse and democratically elected group of councillors with a single community member who must try to represent and uphold a range of community concerns within a panel of experts,” he said.

“In addition to community representation, WSROC is also concerned that IHAPs will place significant financial burden on local councils.

“Councils are expected to carry the full cost of these panels (estimated to be around $100,000 each) and will also be required to pay all costs for IHAP decisions referred to the Land and Environment Court.

“Without oversight of the number of referrals made, this will potentially have a significant budget impact,” said Cr Bali.

“We are deeply concerned by the diminishing of community input, but also by indications that process and governance issues will be addressed ‘on the fly’.

“Councils cannot afford to suffer financial and time-based losses while the state government tweaks the details of these panels over the coming year or so,” he said.

“We urge the Planning Minister to reconsider the urgency with which IHAPs are being implemented. Without due rigour in the design of the governance framework, we risk another round of failed local government reform,” said Cr Bali.

Media contact: Kelly-Anne Gee, 02 9671 4333 (ext. 118), 0425 871 868 or kelly@wsroc.com.au

SOURCE: https://www.wsroc.com.au/media-a-resources/releases/wsroc-board-slams-ihaps-legislation

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