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Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Planning department thanks you

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Sam Haddad, director-general, NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure

I would like to thank the thousands of people in NSW who are helping to shape a new planning system for the state.

Building a new planning system requires community input and we have met more than 6,000 people in one of the most widespread consultation programs in the state’s history over the past two years.

Now we’re reading more than 4,500 submissions and using this feedback to prepare new planning legislation to be introduced into NSW Parliament. We will carefully consider all issues raised in finalising the legislation.

On behalf of the staff of the Department of Planning and Infrastructure I would like to say thank you for your time and input.

We are putting the community at the centre of the new planning system. The new system will allow NSW to grow while protecting the things we value, including the environment and our treasured heritage assets.

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  1. The proposed Planning System is an environmental,social and cultural disaster designed to sideline NSW residents for the benefit of the Coalitions developer mates. The Coalition has effectively dismantled the management of Marine Parks, National Parks and Catchment Management Authorities, and dismantled democratic community involvement in development through the States Planning Assessment Commission and Regional Planning Panels. It has destroyed community involvement in Local Environment Plans by its developer friendly restrictions on zonings, and by further restrictions on Councils decisions within zonings (ie previously Cls could permit, say, a caravan park but not a multi story block of tourist accommodation, but under the proposed system a developer can build any tourist facility). These offensive actions have already happened, if the proposed planning system is put in place then it will get far worse. Get ready for direct action

  2. We don’t know how many of the 6,000 “people” met by The Department were developers or their lobbyists or how many of the 4,500 submissions yet to be processed are from similar sources.
    If this consultation process is like The North Byron Parklands development approval, where over 80% of the local community raised objections but were overruled by submissions from anywhere and as far away as the UK and Western Australia, from festival fans who fell for the “Bring Splendour Back to Byron/Home” story.
    So much for putting the community at the centre of the planning system.
    Granted, there was consultation and a 2 day Planning and Assessment Commission Meeting to hear our concerns. The PAC put many restrictions and clauses in the final approval that the community is thankful for. Parklands to their credit are working hard to fulfil their obligations, however, the fact remains, that the local community did not and do not want such a development in a quiet rural and environmentally sensitive area when it should be in Byron Bay where there is the infrastructure to cope with the vast numbers of young people wishing to have some fun .
    I would like to thank all the community members who are working tirelessly to make sure that the impact to residents and the environment is minimal by closely consulting with all the government agencies who are charged with making sure this private commercial venture is a success.
    The “new” planning system will, as usual, be skewed to the noisy, powerful developer lobby who can tick the “cost benefit To NSW” and “employment numbers” boxes .
    Heritage assets will be adulterated or bulldozed if they are in an area zoned for development with no avenue for protection due to the “one size fits all” and “cutting red tape” mantra used to simplify planning for developers and the department.
    Every inch of New South Wales should be treated individually and should not be bundled up and approved for development with no recourse from local communities and interested parties once the new planning system is legislated.
    It will be interesting to see who does benefit from the lengthy consultation process where community is at the centre surrounded by litigious, well funded developers and a developer compliant government.


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