Detail in planning

LOCAL councils have only four weeks to provide details about their use of planning powers to the Department of Planning.

This revolves around State Environmental Planning Policy One (SEPP 1), which allows councils to vary development standards outside those set by a local environment plan.

“It is in place to allow some flexibility, where strict compliance with those standards would be unreasonable or unnecessary, or lead to a bad design outcome,” the department's director-general, Sam Haddad, said.

All councils are required to complete quarterly returns to the department on their use of SEPP 1 when approving new developments.

Coffs Harbour City Council is complying with its requirements.

A spokeswoman said the council was aware of a current development application which would need to be reported, and that would be done in the next quarter.

“The department wants to work with local councils to ensure that SEPP 1 is being used in an appropriate fashion across the State,” Mr Haddad said.

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