The NSW Government has introduced the Planning Reform Action Plan to deliver a better planning system for NSW. Work is underway to improve assessment time frames, reduce red-tape and blockages, eliminate double-handling and fast-track projects that deliver public benefits to NSW.
The State Environmental Planning Policy (Educational Establishments and Child Care Facilities) 2017 (Education SEPP) was introduced to streamline assessment processes for child-care providers, schools, TAFEs and universities, saving time and money and delivering greater consistency across NSW educational establishments.
The Department is undertaking a review of the Education SEPP aimed at improving the operation, efficiency and usability of the SEPP and supporting documents.
With further improvements to the Education SEPP, the planning system will be better placed to future-proof the delivery of education infrastructure by making it easier for education and child-care providers to build high-quality facilities to meet demand.
Proposed amendments to the Education SEPP
The Department is exhibiting proposed amendments to the Education SEPP to further streamline the delivery of school infrastructure, facilitate the delivery of student housing, address feedback regarding child care centres in low density residential zones and other operational and policy comments raised by stakeholders.
The proposed amendments to the Education SEPP include:
- providing changes to CIV thresholds to ensure planning assessment pathway is commensurate with scale and impacts of proposed project;
- saving time and money through streamlined approval processes, making it easier for schools, TAFEs and universities to build new facilities and improve existing ones;
- supporting the new student housing strategy proposed in the Housing Diversity SEPP for student housing on schools and tertiary institution campuses including TAFEs;
- supporting the changing nature of tertiary institutions by making provision for innovation hub activities within existing tertiary institutions;
- addressing concerns about impacts of child-care centres within Low Density Residential Zones (R2);
- addressing existing policy anomalies in the Education SEPP.
The proposed changes are driven by an initiative of the NSW Government to ensure faster delivery of projects, including education facilities.