Joint Regional Planning Panels


Cover of Procedures for the Operation of Joint Regional Planning Panels

Joint Regional Planning Panels have been established to provide greater expertise and independence on regional planning issues.

The Regional Panels consist of members appointed by State Government and Local Council. The Panels have been established to provide independent, merit-based decision-making and advice to the Minister on regionally significant development proposals.

Regional Panels commenced operation on 1 July 2009 in five regions of NSW, and in the Western Region on 1 September 2009.

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What kinds of development do Regional Panels determine?

The Regional Panels make decisions on regionally significant developments, which include:

  • Designated development
  • Development with a capital investment value (CIV) over $10 million
  • The following development with a CIV over $5 million:
    • Certain public and private infrastructure
    • Crown development
    • Development where council is the proponent or has a conflict of interest
  • Ecotourism
  • Subdivision of land into more than 250 lots
  • Certain coastal developments previously assessed as Major Projects to be determined by the Minister under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act (EP&A Act).

Regional Panels will not determine proposals for the above classes of regional development if they are:

  • Development that are Major Projects to be determined by the Minister (that is, under Part 3A of the EP&A Act)
  • Complying development
  • Development that does not require consent (including exempt development and development to which Part 5 applies)
  • Development where the consent authority is not the council (including where the Minister is the consent authority)
  • Development within the City of Sydney local government area.
  • Details of projects that are determined by Joint Regional Planning Panels can be found in the Major Developments State Environmental Planning Policy.

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How do Regional Panels operate?

Councils assess development applications (DAs) that are regionally significant. The council officer’s assessment report and recommendations will then be referred to the Regional Panel to make its determination.

Step-by-step process

Flow chart of the Regional Panel application process

The Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Act states that councils are to fund appeals to a decision. There is provision for the Minister for Planning to receive submissions from council to share costs in exceptional circumstances.

Addressing the Panel

The applicant of the development application under consideration, or a person who has made a submission regarding the development application under consideration, can address the panel by registering with Panel Secretariat. Contact details for the Panel Secretariat are available on the Joint Regional Planning Panel website.