Community feedback invited on amended planning guidelines

26 Apr 2022

Proposed amendments to planning guidelines will provide more clarity for applicants and enhanced safety, sustainability and environmental outcomes for developments in Newcastle.

Council voted tonight to place four sections of the Newcastle Development Control Plan (DCP) 2012 on public exhibition for 28 days, with the community invited to provide feedback on the draft changes.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the updated DCP would offer a more modern and consistent framework, with detailed planning and design guidelines to help with delivering the highest level of urban development and renewal outcomes for Newcastle.

"A lot has changed in the planning landscape since the current Newcastle DCP was implemented 10 years ago, which is why it is important to periodically update these guidelines in line with modern standards and expectations," Cr Nelmes said.

"Following a resolution of Council in October 2020, the DCP is undergoing a full review, which will ensure its provisions are consistent with community-supported strategies adopted by City of Newcastle (CN), such as the Local Strategic Planning Statement, Parking Plan, the Local Housing Strategy and our Newcastle 2040 Community Strategic Plan.

"We've reviewed and suggested amendments to four key sections relating to bush fire protection, mine subsidence, safety and security and traffic, parking and access, which will provide more clarity for applicants and move this document in line with the sustainable targets and outcomes our community have told us they wanted.

"We will now seek community feedback on these draft changes, while the remainder of the DCP review will come back to Council for consideration later this year."

Draft amendments to bush fire protection guidelines will ensure a greater emphasis on environmental preservation, reduce fire ignition risks and deliver mapping data to CN, while other provisions will help reduce community vulnerability to crime through good urban design, with all developments required to incorporate features that enhance public safety and security.

Other proposed changes will help deliver on CN's adopted active transport and sustainability goals, such as requiring new developments or renovations worth more than $200,000 to be “EV ready” with pre-wiring to allow for electric vehicle charging points to be installed in the future, while new large scale residential and commercial developments will need to dedicate five per cent of all parking spaces to electric vehicles, with a minimum ‘Level 2’ charging point installed.

A recommendation that parking spaces in these developments become "unbundled" or separately titled to the dwellings, could also provide more affordable and flexible housing options by allowing households to choose the number of car parking spaces, they want to own or rent when purchasing a property.