Planning Law and Sustainable Building Outcomes: Assessing the effectiveness of NSW planning legislation in promoting ecologically sustainable development

Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES)
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings from the PRRES Conference, 2013, pp. 1 - 19
Issue Date:
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The role of planning legislation in implementing ecologically sustainable development (ESD) outcomes in NSW has been questioned since the concept of ESD was first recognised across Australia in the early 1990s. Environmental planning legislation in NSW is now in a state of transition with a major review of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (1979) currently in progress and a significant overhaul is expected. Within this context, this paper examines the role of planning law in promoting sustainable buildings and development with an initial focus on the assessment of the performance of NSW legislation to date. A survey of the literature including relevant case law on this topic is provided. The analysis indicates that the current NSW planning framework has fallen short of ensuring sustainable outcomes in many cases. The impacts of recently announced policy changes are also explored and the merits and shortcomings of current and likely future planning regulation are examined. The paper concludes with a discussion of the legislative changes that would improve the planning system and promote more environmentally sound development outcomes in the NSW built environment.
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