City of Newcastle leading the way with faster DA approvals

10 Sep 2023

An award-winning initiative designed by City of Newcastle (CN) that is slashing development application (DA) processing times could be rolled out across the state.

CN's innovative Accelerated Development Application pathway fast tracked more than 15 per cent of the city's $1.5 billion development pipeline during the 2022/23 financial year, helping to reduce the number of undetermined DAs by 35 per cent since 2017.

In the month of July, more than a third of all applications determined by CN were fast tracked through the Accelerated DA pathway with an average processing time of just seven days, reducing CN’s overall processing times by 20 per cent to an average of 33 days.

Newcastle Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said CN's industry-leading Accelerated DA pathway is attracting widespread attention.

"Newcastle’s Accelerated DA pathway continues to reduce waiting times for residents and builders," Cr Clausen said.

"We are seeing low-risk developments such as demolition, signage, and smaller ancillary development, processed in just seven days, which is a remarkable achievement.

“By streamlining lower risk development, staff time can be focused on more complex and challenging proposals.”

“Newcastle is being recognised amongst residents and builders for its streamlined development assessment pathway which further positions our city as an attractive place to build."

CN’s Planning and Environment Executive Director Michelle Bisson celebrated the team's significant achievements.

"CN's Planning and Environment team should be congratulated for their commitment to improving the planning process and enhancing the customer experience, while ensuring a merit-based assessment that doesn’t compromise urban design excellence," Ms Bisson said.

"The Accelerated DA pathway has significantly changed the way DAs are managed for the city, by enabling residents and businesses to actualise their development goals sooner and support developers to progress their projects to provide desperately needed housing for our growing population.

“We look forward to making further improvements to the process which will lead to even more positive outcomes for the community."