Who makes planning decisions?

Community life - 28 February 2017

Local councils are the key organisation responsible for planning and development matters. Their work is guided by a hierarchy of State, Regional and local plans, policies, codes and guidelines. These regulate how the planning process works, including how development applications must be assessed and the level of community consultation required.

In 2015-16 Kempsey Shire Council approved developments with a value of over $45 million. In 2016-17 the value of developments approved has already reached almost $57 million.

Around 95% of Development Applications are determined by Council staff with a small number of Applications determined by the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP).

These applications are considered to be of regional significance either by the value of the development, or where a Council may be perceived to have a conflict of interest. This is often when Council is the owner or trustee of the land and where the value of the development exceeds $5 million. Whilst the JRPP determines such applications, the independent assessment is undertaken by council staff who are required to provide a report and make recommendations to the JRPP.

The JRPP is made up of three members appointed by the State Government and two local government representatives nominated by each council. Kempsey and Nambucca Council representatives sit on each other’s Northern JRPP in order to avoid any perceived conflicts of interest.

The proposed expansion of the Australian International Aviation College (AIAC) at Kempsey Airport is required to be determined by the Northern JRPP as the development is valued at $18 million and Council is the owner of the land and therefore has a financial interest in the development.

All submissions received will be included in the report to the JRPP and any person may request to address the JRPP meeting by following the links on the website www.planningpanels.nsw.gov.au 

Aerial photograph of West KempseyKempsey is part of the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel