NSW Government moves to streamline planning approvals for critical employment centres

Urban Taskforce welcomes the announcement today by the Minister for Planning, Hon Rob Stokes MP, that approvals for data centres and warehouses will be assessed under a new “accelerated pathway” to help stimulate the State’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

The threshold for warehouses to be assessed as “State Significant Development” (SSD) will be lowered from $50 million to $30 million.  DPIE will fund more staff in the assessments team to cater for the increased demand.

The NSW Government has also advised that smaller data centres can now be set up as complying development, subject to strict conditions.  This is also a step in the right direction.

Data Centres and warehouses represent the cutting edge of changes to our economy.

The COVID-19 experience saw a massive jump in on-line purchases, and this is likely to prevail in the post COVID-19 recovery period.

With the initial NBN rollout now largely complete and the increased imperative for local, secure data storage capacity, this growth field for employment is appropriately recognised by today’s announcement.

This is an important first step in promoting jobs and investment.

The planning system is facing a crisis with under supply of new homes driving up prices; a fact recently noted by Westpac, NAB, the RBA, the Federal Productivity Commission and the NSW Productivity Commission.  It is time for a fresh look at opportunities to deliver housing supply faster.  Initiatives such as this one today show the way for delivering approvals for new housing faster and are consistent with the recommendations of the NSW Productivity Commission.

Download PDF Version.