Design and Place SEPP culled!

The State Environmental Planning Policy for Design and Place (DP SEPP), the proposed solution to simplify NSW’s planning system, has been culled.

The DP SEPP was set to apply to a wide range of developments mandating design considerations to focus on design quality of the built environment and aiming to ensure sustainable development and conservation of the environment.

On 5 April 2022, the Department of Planning and Environment issued a release that they will not proceed with the DP SEPP nor will they make any changes to the current design guides for apartments.

NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, confirmed that one element of the DP SEPP would be retained; the requirement for new homes and renovations over $50,000 to meet sustainability standards (BASIX) for energy, water use and thermal performance of the home.

This announcement comes after extensive consultation with industry and stakeholder groups, with Minister Roberts noting that part of the rationale for culling the DP SEPP, was that it would place too much of a regulatory burden on building new homes.

Some industry professionals have welcomed the news, who openly declared it would cause unaffordability and worsen NSW’s housing issue.

Although, this sentiment is not shared with everyone, with some suggesting that this is a step back for NSW and sustainability. However, the Minister has assured them that existing policies would withstand the effects of climate change with the independent inquiry into floods looking to ensure NSW is adequately equipped to handle natural hazards.

Author: Dennis Loether