THE PROPERTY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA … IHAPS START MARCH 1 2018
23 FEB 2018 PROPERTY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA
Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs) will become mandatory for all councils in Sydney and Wollongong on March 1 2018 to guard against corruption and lead to better local planning decisions.
IHAP members will have to be expert in one or more of the following fields: planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism, or government and public administration.
The chair must also have expertise in law or government and public administration.
The panel members themselves will be subject to statutory rules such as a compulsory code of conduct and operational procedures for the panels.
The first IHAP was established by Liverpool Council in March 1997 in response to a drastic increase in development in the area, and an increased apprehension of the risk of corruption associated with planning and development matters.
What will local planning panels decide?
Value – Development applications with a value of between more than $5 million but less than $30 million.
Conflict of Interest – Development applications for which the applicant or owner is the council, a councillor, a member of a councillor’s family, a member of council staff, or a state or federal member of Parliament.
Contentiousness – Development applications that receive 10 or more objections from different households.
Strategic Importance – Development applications accompanied by a proposed voluntary planning agreement.
Departure from development standards – Development applications seeking to depart by more than 10% from a development standard.
High-risk development types – Development applications associated with a higher risk of corruption:
– residential flat buildings assessed under SEPP 65
– demolition of heritage items
– licensed places of public entertainment and sex industry premises
– designated development, as set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
Modifications – Modification applications that meet the above criteria.