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The NSW Planning Portal

The primary purpose of the NSW Planning Portal is to provide an online environment where people can access planning services and information from anywhere at any time.

About

The NSW Planning Portal, an initiative of the New South Wales Government, is an online environment designed to provide public access to a collation of digitised planning services where community, industry and government can work together to better understand and meet their obligations under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Set up under the Act, the NSW Planning Portal is the legal repository for certain planning documents, such as Ministerial Orders, and houses a range of digital planning services, mapping tools and reporting tools that cover entire the planning lifecycle.

Users of the Planning Portal include, families, home builders, project developers, certifiers, government agencies and of course council staff members whom all use these resources every day.


The Act

The NSW Planning Portal is built and maintained in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (Schedule 3 & Division 4).

Schedule 3  NSW planning portal and online delivery of planning services and information;

1. Establishment, content and maintenance of NSW planning database

(cf previous s 158C)
(1) The NSW planning database is established for the purposes of this Act.
(2) The NSW planning database is an electronic repository of:
(a) documents that are required by or under this Act to be published on the NSW planning portal, and
(b) environmental planning instruments, plans or other documents that are required by or under this Act to be published on the NSW legislation website, and
(c) spatial datasets or other maps that are adopted or incorporated by way of reference by those instruments, plans or documents, and
(d) other documents or information relating to the administration of this Act required to be published on the NSW planning portal by the regulations or by the Planning Secretary.
(3) The NSW planning database is to maintain historical as well as current versions of documents and other material required to be published on the NSW planning portal.
(4) The NSW planning database is to be compiled and maintained as determined by the Planning Secretary.
(5) The NSW planning database may comprise separate databases for different material. Any such separate databases may be compiled and maintained by other agencies, including the legislation database compiled and maintained by the Parliamentary Counsel for publication of environmental planning instruments or other material on the NSW legislation website.

2. Public access to documents and information on NSW planning portal

(cf previous s 158D)
(1) The Planning Secretary is to make arrangements for documents or other information in the NSW planning database to be published on the NSW planning portal and such other websites as are determined by the Planning Secretary.
(2) The Planning Secretary may certify the form of such documents or other information that is correct.
(3) Environmental planning instruments, plans or other documents and information need not be published on the NSW planning portal if they are published on the NSW legislation website (or the website of another agency) and can be readily accessed from the NSW planning portal.
(4) If the NSW planning portal is not available to publish a document or other information for technical or other reasons, the document or other information may be published on the NSW legislation website.

Note: The NSW planning portal is defined by section 1.4 to mean the website with the URL of www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au, or any other website, used by the Planning Secretary to provide public access to documents or other information in the NSW planning database.

3. Regulations and other provisions relating to online planning services and information

(cf previous s 158E)
(1) The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the online delivery of planning services and information, including;
(a) the NSW planning portal and other specialised planning portals (including the status of services and information delivered online), and
(b) access to information (and the issue of certificates) about land use zoning, development standards and other information relating to particular land, and
(c) the lodgement or submission of applications and other things under this Act, and
(d) the assessment of categories of development for which there are codified criteria or standards, and
(e) the registration of consents, approvals or certificates (or other documents) and their effect on registration, and
(f) the notification of the making or determination of applications for (or the issue or grant of) consents, approvals or certificates (or other documents) by means of the NSW planning portal.
(2) The charges or fees that may be prescribed by the regulations under this Act extend to charges or fees in relation to the online delivery of planning services and information (including the compilation and maintenance of the NSW planning database, the operation of the NSW planning portal and the enhancement of the NSW planning database and the NSW planning portal).
(3) For the purpose of facilitating online delivery of planning services and information;
(a) the Planning Secretary may determine standard technical requirements with respect to;
(i) the preparation of environmental planning instruments, plans or other documents and of any spatial datasets or other maps that are referred to in (or adopted under) those instruments, plans or documents, and
(ii) the form of applications for consents, approvals or certificates (or other documents) under this Act and the form of any such consents, approvals or certificates (or other documents), and
(b) a council or other planning body is to provide the Planning Secretary, when requested, with electronic files (in a specified format) of any such instruments, plans or other documents (or of any spatial datasets or other maps) prepared or held by it, and
(c) a council or other planning body is to implement any standard technical requirements determined by the Planning Secretary to facilitate access to relevant data in the electronic systems maintained by the council or other body or to transfer that data to the NSW planning database.
(4) The Planning Secretary is to establish on a departmental website an alert facility to enable members of the public to register for the purposes of receiving electronic notification of selected new planning decisions and matters.

Division 4 NSW planning portal;

285. Use of NSW planning portal—the Act, Sch 3, cl 3

(1) A relevant authority may use the NSW planning portal to give a document or information to an applicant, or to request a document or information from an applicant, even if this Regulation requires or permits the document or information to be given in another way.
(2) For the purposes of this Regulation;
(a) the time at which a document or information is provided by a relevant authority through the NSW planning portal is the time when the document or information is shown on the NSW planning portal to have been provided by the relevant authority, and
(b) the time at which a document or information is received by an applicant or relevant authority is the time when the document or information becomes capable of being retrieved by the applicant or relevant authority on the NSW planning portal.
(3) In this section;
document or information includes an application, notification, advice or request.
relevant authority means the following;
(a) a consent authority,
(b) a concurrence authority,
(c) an approval body,
(d) a council,
(e) a registered certifier,
(f) the Planning Secretary.

286. Use of NSW planning portal for consultation, concurrence and approval

(1) For the purposes of the Act, sections 4.13(1) and 4.64(1)(i), a consent authority must consult with, or obtain the concurrence of, a relevant authority by using the NSW planning portal.
(2) For the purposes of the Act, sections 4.47(2) and 4.64(1)(o), a consent authority must obtain the general terms of an approval proposed to be granted by a relevant authority in relation to integrated development through the NSW planning portal.
(3) A response to the consent authority’s consultation, or request for concurrence or for general terms of an approval, must be made by a relevant authority through the NSW planning portal.
(4) In this section;
electricity supply authority means a person engaged in the distribution of electricity to the public or in the generation of electricity for supply, directly or indirectly, to the public, whether by statute, franchise agreement or otherwise, and includes;
(a) an energy services corporation within the meaning of the Energy Services Corporations Act 1995, and
(b) a transmission operator or distributor that holds a licence under the Electricity Supply Act 1995.
relevant authority means the following;
(a) an approval body,
(b) a concurrence authority,
(c) an electricity supply authority,
(d) the Planning Secretary,
(e) a public authority.

287.  Public exhibition submissions if Minister is consent authority: the Act, Sch 1, cl 22

(1) A person must use the NSW planning portal to make submissions during the public exhibition period for development requiring development consent under the Act, Part 4, if the Minister is the consent authority.


Key services

The NSW Planning Portal spatial viewer

The Spatial Viewer is an enhanced digital mapping service that provides easy-to-use, information-rich maps for every address and lot in NSW.

Each digital map contains multiple layers outlining all the planning controls relevant to that site. This includes Environmental Planning Instruments (EPI), such as State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP) and Local Environmental Plans (LEP). It can also show Development Control Plans (DCP) and Contribution Plans (CP) relevant to the local government area surrounding a particular site.

Application Lodgement and Tracking

The following core processes within the planning system include:

  •     Development Applications
  •     Concurrence and Referrals – for those DAs that require the advice of a State agency
  •     Complying Development Certificate Applications

These services have addressed long-held concerns about the NSW planning system in regard to determination times, transparency of processes and accountability.

Open Data

The NSW Planning Portal’s Open Data section provides links to a broad range of planning data. From Environmental Planning Instruments, such as State Environmental Planning Polices, to Local Development Performance Monitors, resulting in a wealth of information that is available in a variety of formats.

NSW Planning Performance Dashboard

The Department is committed to improving the transparency of the NSW planning system.

Sydney and Regional Planning Panels

Planning Panels were introduced as independent bodies to strengthen decision-making on regionally significant development applications and other planning matters.

The NSW Planning Portal now provides access to the latest information for councils and the community at large where a Planning Panel is involved in a development application.

Special Infrastructure Contributions (SIC)

The NSW Planning Portal hosts a digital workflow and website that facilitates Special Infrastructure Contributions (SIC). This helps coordinates the delivery of key pieces of State and regional infrastructure required to support a growing population.

Users have access to a digital dashboard which assists in the management of their SIC case load as well as the progress of individual applications throughout the system.

State Voluntary Planning Agreements (VPA)

A voluntary planning agreement (VPA) is an agreement entered into by a planning authority, such as the State Government, and a developer. Under the agreement a developer may agree to provide or fund public amenities and public services, affordable housing, and/or transport infrastructure.

The new digital system allows VPAs to be entered into by a planning authority, such as the Department, and will allow developers and relevant parties to come to an agreement, resulting in faster approval times.

Construction certificates

Applicants can now submit an application for a construction certificate to the certifier through the NSW Planning Portal. Applicants and certifiers have access to digital dashboards which helps them manage and keep track of applications.

Principal Certifying Authority appointment

Once an applicant has secured an approval (via DA and CC or via CDC) they are required to appoint a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) to oversee the construction.

The new system on the allows NSW Planning Portal PCAs to schedule inspections via the system and utilise a mobile device integration to enable recording of the various inspections.

Occupation Certificate

Once the development has successfully passed all the required inspections, applicants can submit an application for an occupation certificate through the NSW Planning Portal.

This integrated system passes through the known development details into the new application, which minimises the need to fill in additional forms.

Subdivision Certificate

Applicants can submit an application for a subdivision certificate to the certifier of their choice through the NSW Planning Portal.

Applicants and certifiers now have access to digital dashboards which assists in their management and tracking of applications.


How Planning Portal services benefit the people of NSW

By improving existing processes to the planning experience for all stakeholders, communities, industries, councils, and the State government now have access to a convenient alternative to paper-based transactions that can only take place during business hours.

The digital services, accessed via dashboards, improve application determination times, increase transparency of the planning system, and ensure greater accountability.

Links to relevant legislation are always provided to ensure planning decisions are based on the most accurate information. Considered a global spearhead, the application of real-time data, and the automated handling of information enables a seamless flow of data between affiliated systems, and minimises data errors and providing users with more time for relevant strategic planning, thus providing better planning outcomes for NSW.

New digital system such as the VPA register now helps facilitate contributions made through the dedication of land, monetary contributions, and construction of infrastructure.

Digitally transformed certification processes have changed the way applicants and developers obtain certificates through the NSW Planning Portal to speed up processes, provide transparency and information across the planning system.


NSW Planning Portal Roadmap

The NSW Planning Portal Roadmap shows users a timeline of our accomplishments and goals to deliver better information and digital online services to NSW residents.

Go to roadmap