Renovating soon? Be nice to your neighbours!

April 29 1

Are you planning on renovating or extending your home? Under a new proposal to amend NSW Planning laws you may be legally required to involve your neighbours before submitting your DA to council for approval. These are the first major planning changes for NSW in the last 30 years.

NSW Planning Minister Robert Stokes says these changes, possibly coming into effect in the second half of this year, are designed to speed up the planning process when it goes to council, and to avoid the element of surprise for neighbours, which is often the main cause for dispute, creating additional costs for families seeking approval.

What are the proposed changes?

Currently the NSW Department of Planning and Environment encourages “talking to your neighbours as early as possible in the design process to help ensure the development process is as smooth as possible for all involved and doesn’t come as a surprise”, however this is not currently a legal requirement.

Under the draft laws, you will be legally required to consult your neighbours prior to going submitting the Development Application. Details of the consultations would need to be included in the application to council.

Mr Stokes was confident that feedback from neighbours would be competently weighed up by councils as to whether it was petty and unhelpful or ‘sensible feedback that you can accommodate’.

What does it mean for you?

These changes are only a draft amendment at this stage and may not become law. However if you feel your relationship with your neighbour is already tenuous, it may be best to bring forward your plans if possible. The NSW Planning & Environment site has details about the current neighbour notification requirements here >

A potential benefit is time- and cost-saving however, as potential issues or stumbling blocks with neighbours would (hopefully) get resolved before you spend time and money on plans that may not get approved.

Need more info?

It’s our job to be in the know with all of the NSW Planning laws as they are implemented, so that you have the most straightforward experience of renovating your home. We’ve been doing it for over 30 years, so if you’d like to find out more about the proposed planning laws and how they may affect your planned renovations, feel free to call us today on (02) 8765 1555 or use our contact form.

Visit the NSW Department of Planning & Environment page outlining the draft amendments > 

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