A review of the Central Sydney Planning Committee (CSPC) has sparked fears that residents in City of Sydney will lose input into large scale development within the Council’s boundaries. The Keneally government announced a review of the Central Sydney Planning Committee on the 10th of June, with a month given for submissions. Other Councils in NSW have already lost control over ‘Major Projects’ under Part 3A of the EP&A; Act. Under this legislation the Department of Planning assesses Development Applications declared as Major Projects and the Minister of Planning determines the outcome of the application. Both the Greens and Liberals have opposed Part 3A saying the removal of locally elected representatives from the process reduces accountability and community consultation.

Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney, is fearful of the agenda behind the review saying the review is rushed, threatens democracy and good planning. The Lord Mayor is urging locals to oppose the review, which is due to report back to the State Government in early August.

The current CSPC was established in 1988 and includes three City Councillors (with the Lord Mayor as Chair) and four State Government appointees.

“Economic activity in our 26 square kilometres local government area is $85 billion, or one quarter of the NSW economy. In 2008/09, the City determined $2.2 billion worth of development, three times the second closest NSW Council (Warringah), and the CSPC considered over a quarter of the State’s development over $50 million,” said Clover Moore in her e-newsletter.

“The City took an average of 100 days less than other comparable development assessments, including State controlled projects (Part 3A). Based on this, the State Government should transfer more major development to the CSPC!,” the Lord Mayor said.

Clover Moore has asked the Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly, to grant an extension to deadline for public submissions but it is not known if this request will be granted.

Submissions must be received by 7 of July in writing to CSPC Review Panel, GPO Box 3415, Sydney NSW 2001 or email paula.poon@planning.nsw.gov.au

Do you think Major Projects in the City of Sydney should be determined by the Minister for Planning or the CSPC?