NSW government aims to make building and renovating easier in regional areas

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Embarking on a building or renovating project in regional New South Wales is set to become an easier process after the state government announced changes to planning regulations.

NSW planning minister Rob Stokes this week announced changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 that aim to help builders and renovators complete work quicker by removing notice periods for complying developments.

Complying developments are projects that are assessed by a council or private certifier to meet  pre-determined criteria, which allows approval for works to be granted much quicker than for full development applications.

Under the changes, the 14 day pre-approval neighbour notification for residential complying developments will be removed and the pre-construction neighbour notification for new buildings and additions will be reduced.

Applicants will now be required to notify neighbours two days before construction starts; however, the government still recommends builders and renovators have an open dialogue with those who will likely be affected by works.

Stokes said the changes had been implemented after the state’s planning department held a period of consultation with stakeholders.

“We listened to councils, industry and businesses who told us previous notification requirements made complying development in regional and rural areas more expensive, time consuming and confusing,” Stokes said.

“People who take advantage of the new rules will save time and money, and be able to deliver their projects faster,” he said.

Stokes said the changes could see builders and renovators get approval for works in under 20 days.

“Complying development allows quick approval for straightforward works,” he said.

“Approvals can be issued on average within 18 days, compared to the average determination time for a full development application of 70 days.”

The changes follow a previous announcement earlier this year from Stokes that the government was committed to simplifying laws covering building and renovations in the state.
 

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