COMPANIES who flout NSW planning laws will be hit with fines increased by five times under a crackdown on dodgy developers.
The changes came into effect today after being ticked off in November last year.
Maximum fines available to courts have been increased from $1.1 million to $5 million and councils have gained greater powers to investigate suspected breaches.
Planning Minister Rob Stokes said a further reform on August 14 would allow the government to issue $15,000 on-the-spot fines, up from the current maximum of $3000.
"We need to send a strong message that conditions-enforcing matters like fire safety are not optional extras," Mr Stokes said.
"These are the toughest fines in the country for planning offences, and reflect our commitment to protecting our community and the environment.
"Planning conditions are about ensuring community safety and neighbourhood amenity. Public confidence in planning is wrecked when conditions are breached and the rights of neighbours are ignored." -APN NEWSDESK