If you think it takes a long time to get a DA through Leichhardt council, you’re not wrong. Leichhardt has again won the unwanted award for the slowest processing of development applications in New South Wales.
It took on average 118 days to get a DA approved during the 2006 financial year, 12 days longer than in 2005. Other notably slow councils included Holroyd (102 days), Manly (97), Sutherland (97) and Lane Cove (95). The State average is 51 days – a slight improvement from the previous average of 53 days – with urban councils taking significantly longer than their rural counterparts.
Rural council groupings averaged 34 days, while urban and suburban council groupings average almost twice as long at 62 days. The best performing councils were Gundagai with an average of 3 days, Brewarrina (4 days) and Temora (6). Meanwhile, NSW Planning Minister Frank Sartor says he can slash approvals down to two weeks under changes proposed in a discussion paper. The main proposal is to increase the use of compliance certificates from 11 per cent up to 50 per cent of all DAs.
The HIA has welcomed the discussion paper, seeing it as a way of reducing delays and red tape. However, the Local Government Association of NSW says that mums and dads expect elected representatives to protect them from bad developments, and that the reforms would increase costs and complexity rather than making it easier for families and small businesses. For a list of all NSW councils and their average development application processing times, click here.