Item 7.2 - Attachment 1

Attachment 1 - Previous report to Council

 

REGULATORY

ITEM NUMBER         7.2

SUBJECT                   Nominations for the Joint Regional Planning Panel

REFERENCE            F2005/01801 - D01211060

REPORT OF              Manager Development Services        

 


 

PURPOSE:

 

To provide Council with information on the commencement of Joint Regional Planning Panels (JRPPs) and to consider the appointment of two (2) interested councillors to represent Parramatta City Council on the Sydney West Region Joint Regional Planning Panel.

 

 


 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Council nominate two (2) interested councillors to represent Parramatta City      Council on the Sydney West Region Joint Regional Planning Panel for the period 1 July 2009 to 30 September 2010.

 

 


OVERVIEW

 

One of the planning reforms introduced by the NSW Government is to establish a series of Joint Regional Planning Panels (JRPPs) across the state. On 1 July 2009, the JRPPs will commence operation.

 

JRPPs will be the consent authority for regional development applications and can be requested by the Minister for Planning to provide advice on matters pertaining to planning, development or environmental planning instruments. They can also be given roles in the Local Environmental Plan making process.

 

It is proposed to have six (6) regions for JRPPS that correspond to existing Department of Planning regions. Matters within the Parramatta local government area will be considered by the Sydney West Region Joint Regional Planning Panel.

 

The JRPPs will be made up of three (3) members appointed by the Minister for Planning (State members) who will deal with matters across the region and a further two (2) members appointed by the relevant Councils who will undertake JRPP functions for planning matters in their particular local government area.

 

The information package for Council nominees can be found in attachment 1.

 

Functions of Joint Regional Planning Panels

 

The functions of JRPPs are to:

 

1.   Exercise certain consent authority functions in regard to regional development applications; and

2.   Where requested, advise the NSW Minister for Planning on planning or development matters or environmental planning instruments in respect of JRPP regions.

 

Regional development applications will include:

 

·    Commercial, residential, retail and tourism with capital investment vale (CIV) between $10 million and $100 million;

·    Public and private community infrastructure and ecotourism with a CIV of more than $5 million eg. schools, community halls, libraries etc;

·    Designated development;

·    Certain major coastal developments; and

·    If Council is the proponent or is conflicted in relation to a development with a CIV of more than $5 million.

 

Membership of Joint Regional Planning Panels

 

The JRPPs are to consist of five (5) members as follows:

 

State Members: Three (3) state members appointed by the Minister, each having expertise in one or more of the following: Planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, land economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism and public administration.

 

In appointing the State members, the Minister is required to have regard to the need to have a range of expertise represented among the panel’s members. One of the State members will be appointed as the Chairperson of the JRPP.

 

Council members: Two (2) Council members appointed by each Council that is situated in a part of a state in which a JRPP is appointed. At least one Council nominee is required to have expertise in one or more of planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, land economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering or tourism.’

 

Additional selection criteria are listed as follows for Council nominees:

 

·    Senior level experience in dealing with multiple stakeholders

·    High level communication skills

·    Capability to drive high profile outcomes in a credible and authoritative manner

·    High level analytical skills; and

·    Knowledge of the assessment of complex development and planning matters.

 

Councils may also nominate an alternative to stand in for a Council member.

 

In nominating a Council member to a JRPP, the Department of Planning have suggested that Councils require nominees to declare any private interests that may conflict with the public duties they would be required to perform if nominated to a JRPP.

 

Responsibilities of Members of Joint Regional Planning Panels

 

The responsibilities of JRPP members are to:

 

·    Exercise their functions in accordance with statutory requirements as set out in the EP&A Act and associated regulations

·    Comply with the approved JRPP Code of Conduct

·    Promote a sense of confidence in the JRPP as independent decision making bodies

·    Establish and maintain effective working relationships with the Councils in the relevant JRPP region

·    Foster a positive working relationship with other JRPP members, the Panel Secretariat and the Department of Planning

·    Follow approved JRPP procedures and participate in regular reviews of procedures, to ensure efficient and affective practices are adopted

·    Perform their functions with integrity, impartiality, honesty, conscientiousness, care, skill, diligence, and

·    Participate in/chair panel meetings or hold public hearings or panel meetings in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner while having proper regard to the issues.

 

The term of appointment for Council panellists is up to three (3) years, Councils may nominate a shorter time period if they desire.

 

A JRPP member is entitled to be paid such remuneration (including travelling and subsistence allowances) as the Minister may time to time determine.

 

Persons appointed as panel members will be required to attend a training program that will be provided by the NSW Department of Planning.

 

IMPLICATIONS FOR PARRAMATTA CITY COUNCIL

 

Council nominations

 

Councils have been requested to nominate two (2) persons to become members of the relevant JRPP by Friday 5 June 2009. Each Council has also been requested to nominate an alternate member who may replace the Council nominee if unavailable for any reason.

 

In addition to the technical expertise required for JRPP members, additional selection criteria for nominees have been identified by the Department of Planning that include:

 

·    Senior level experience in dealing with multiple stakeholders

·    High level communication skills

·    Capability to drive high profile outcomes in a credible and authoritative manner

·    High level analytical skills; and

·    Knowledge of the assessment of complex development and planning matters.

 

The guidelines produced by the Department of Planning would indicate that Council nominees need not be Councillors or Council staff, with advice being provided that Councils may wish to undertake an Expression of Interest (EOI) process seeking nominations for JRPP membership. Insufficient time is available for local Councils to undertake an EOI process seeking nominations prior to 5 June 2009 and to seek formal resolution of nominees to be put forward.

 

 

 

 

The only option available to Council in the short term is for either elected Councillors or staff to be nominated as members for the JRPP.  In nominating persons to be members of the JRPP it must be recognised that any person nominated to the JRPP will be an independent member of the JRPP. As such they should not be subject to influence by other Council officers or Councillors on matters that are determined by a JRPP.

 

It is not considered appropriate for a member of staff (especially staff within the Development Services Unit) to be nominated as a member of the JRPP for the reason that they are directly or indirectly responsible for the assessment and recommendations put forward to the JRPP for determination.

 

Accordingly, it is recommended that Council nominate two (2) members of the elected Council (who meet the selection criteria) to the JRPP as an interim arrangement for the period 1 July 2009 to 30 September 2010.

 

If however Council would like to seek Expressions of Interest from community members, it is recommended that Council nominate two elected Councillor’s to the JRPP for a shorter period, whilst the EOI process is being carried out.

 

Council’s role in relation to matters under consideration by the Joint Regional Planning Panel

 

The Department of Planning are currently finalising the procedures for the operation for JRPPs. These procedures are expected to provide further information to Councils on how the JRPPs will operate; the roles of both JRPPs and local Councils; and the procedures that need to be followed by local Councils in assessing regional development applications.

 

What is known is that the assessment of regional development applications to be determined by JRPPs is to be undertaken by the relevant Council officer in which the proposed development is located. The Council officers are to submit their assessment report and recommendations to the JRPP for determination within 60 days.

 

Whilst the Council will not be the determining body for JRPP matters, the Council will have the opportunity to provide its views about any matters that are to be considered by a JRPP. The Council’s view may be provided to a JRPP by way of a submission in the same way that any other submissions about the matter are provided to a JRPP for its consideration in determining a matter. The JRPP must however consult with the Council prior to determining a matter which is likely to have significant financial implications for the Council.

 

Due to the 60 day timeframe in which regional development applications are to be assessed and referred to the JRPP for determination, there will be insufficient time for the assessment report to be tabled to a Council meeting for consideration to seek views on a regional development application prior to referral to the JRPP.

 

As a result, it suggested that upon the receipt of a regional development application notification will be provided to all Councillors of the receipt of the application and an opportunity will be provided for the elected Council to provide a written submission to the JRPP for their determination.

 

The JRPPs have a unique relationship to Council and it can direct council and staff as required to report and take direction from the JRPP. This includes sanctions to the General Manager for failing to carry out the directions of the JRPP.

 

There will be internal administrative changes that will need to be put in place to service the JRPP. It is not expected that the workload and administrative changes will be significantly different from current operations however this will be monitored upon commencement of the JRPPs.

 

The Department of Planning, based on data obtained from local Councils in 2007/2008 estimate that the Sydney West Joint Regional Planning Panel will determine approximately 77 applications per year. Based on current trends it is expected that Parramatta Council will receive approximately 10 regional development applications per year.

 

The legislative amendments that have been made state that local Councils will fund the operation of the JRPPs, however the Director General of the Department of Planning is considering a number of other options to cover the costs of the JRPPs in response to concerns raised by local Councils. Some of these options include, planning reform funds, increasing DA fees and sharing the costs between state and local government. To date no final decision has been made by the government.  

 

 

 

Louise Kerr

Manager Development Services

 

 


Attachments:

1

Information package for Council nominees

10 Pages

 

 

 


REFERENCE MATERIAL