The LPPs ensure increased probity and accountability in the planning system, safeguard against corruption and lead to better planning outcomes. LPPs make decisions on sensitive, complex and high-value DAs that come before councils thereby replacing the Council in determining developments that exceed the staff delegation, review planning proposals and other planning related policies. Council staff, under delegation, will still determine the more straight forward DAs being the vast majority of DAs received by Council.
The Panel meetings consist of 4 members comprising a chair appointed by the Minister, two independent experts appointed by council from a Minister endorsed pool of independent, qualified people, plus a community representative. Panel chairs are required to have expertise in law or government and public administration and are selected from the endorsed list approved by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces. The Minister approves the appointment of the Chair and Alternate Chair. Independent expert members are required to have expertise in one or more of the following fields: planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism, or government and public administration. Like Panel Chairs, independent expert members are also selected from the listing endorsed by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces. Community representatives appointed to a LPP are not required to have planning expertise. The role of the community representative is to ensure that local insights and knowledge are considered as part of the panel’s decision-making.
Councillors, property developers and real estate agents are ineligible to be panel members as this undermines the objective of having DAs determined by independent experts, depoliticising the assessment process.
The referral criteria for development applications, planning proposals and other planning related matters has been set by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces. The categories of development referred to the LPP is set out in the Local Planning Panels Direction – Development Applications and Applications to Modify Development Consents made by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and included as Attachment 1 to this report. In effect, the LPP makes the determination of the application. However, in relation to Planning Proposals and other planning related matters, they are reported to the LPP and the LPP makes a recommendation to Council with regard to the merit of the Proposal and then the Council makes the determination. In other words, the LPP cannot determine a Planning Proposal.
Members of the LPP are subject to a Code of Conduct, lodgement of an annual pecuniary interests declaration and Operational Procedures which have been established by Government.
A number of procedural processes have to be undertaken with the Department of Planning Industry and Environment before a LPP is formally put in place for Council. Therefore, it is proposed to establish an Interim Advisory Planning Assessment Panel to consider planning related matters prior to a resolution of Council being made.
The first meeting of the Interim Advisory Planning Assessment Panel for Wingecarribee Shire Council has been set for 7 April 2021. This will enable the Panel’s recommendations to be put to and determined by the Interim Administrator for the April Ordinary Meeting of Council. Panel meetings will then be scheduled monthly to occur the week prior to the Ordinary Meeting of Council. The Interim Advisory Planning Assessment Panel will consist of a Chair, Alternate Chair, 4 independent experts and 2 community representatives. Each meeting will proceed with 4 members. The arrangements in place for the Interim Advisory Planning Assessment Panel will continue until the Wingecarribee Shire Council LPP is ratified through DPIE.
To view the report to Council and Council Resolution, please click on the below links;
12.1 Establishment of a Local Planning Panel - Report(PDF, 194KB)
Ordinary Meeting of Council - 24 March 2021