Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp has said that a Daley Labor Government will end the Liberals’ backdoor spot rezoning process for developers which has hijacked the planning system in Newcastle and NSW.

This will stop developers going to the state government to seek a site-specific amendment to a council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP). LEPs set zoning controls across local council areas, determining what type of development can take place.

Spot rezoning, also known as a Pre-Gateway or Rezoning review, was introduced by the Liberals and Nationals in 2012 as a developer-friendly backdoor. This has allowed non-conforming development proposals to proceed without the consent of councils and local communities.

In 2014, increased planning controls for UrbanGrowth-GPT’s Newcastle East End development were forced upon the community by the former Planning Minister, Pru Goward setting the maximum building height for the project at a massive 20 stories, with the stroke of a pen.

After pressure and objection from the community, Mr Crakanthorp and Council, the NSW government were forced to revert the building heights back to their original levels.

Labor will end this dodgy process.

“Communities across Newcastle have been bypassed by a planning system and a Government which is entirely beholden to the interests of big developers.

“Communities deserve certainty that when zoning rules are set, they will be left alone and not tinkered with by developers who run off to the state government.”

“Labor will maintain existing processes for critical infrastructure. Councils will still be able to make an application to amend their own LEP in line with current practice.”

“It is time to end the overdevelopment madness and restore sanity to the planning system in NSW.”

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