Lockdown measures Gazetted for planning applications

A question that we are being asked with increasing frequency since the snap lockdown was announced, is ‘what will happen to applications for planning consent that require public notification?

This question is answered by timely variations regulations from the Minister for Planning.

On 22 July 2021 the Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) (Application of Act) Variation Regulations 2021 were Gazetted. These introduce important lockdown measures under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) Regulations 2017. All planning and development officers must be aware of these.

The permissive measures may be summarised as –

1.         Regulation 3A is amended to allow until 30 September 2021 or an earlier date designated by the Minister by notice in the Gazette (the ‘designated day’) for:

1.1      the operators of shops used primarily for the sale of foodstuffs by retail to:

1.1.1     load and unload goods at the shop at any time;

1.1.2     open the shop to the public at any time; and

1.2      a person who owns, controls or operates premises of a kind specified by the Chief Executive by notice published on the SA planning portal, to load or unload goods at the premises at any time,

without these activities constituting contraventions of section 215 of the PDI Act.

2.         A new regulation 53A is inserted concerning (i) performance assessed development applications which require public notification and (ii) (SCAP assessed) restricted development applications which require public notification.

2.1      Assessment timeframes and public notification periods are extended until the ‘designated day’, defined at paragraph 1 above in certain circumstances.

2.2      This is achieved for performance assessed development applications requiring public notification as below.

2.2.1     Regulations 53(1) and 53(2) of the PDI (General) Regulations 2017 prescribe statutory time limits for the assessment and determination of applications seeking planning consent.

2.2.2     Regulation 53(1) provides specific assessment timeframes, applicable to specific forms of planning applications, all of which are calculated from the ‘relevant day’ as per regulation 53(2).

2.2.3     Regulation 53(2) provides that the ‘relevant day’ is when verification is complete and a notice confirming such is issued by the relevant authority under regulation 31(1)(d) OR whenever the relevant fees are paid, if they are paid after verification is completed.

2.2.4     For development applications where the ‘relevant day’ has occurred and the ‘base’ 20 business days assessment period had passed prior to 22 July 2021, the period between 22 July 2021 and the ‘designated daydoes not count towards the public notification period.

2.2.5     Where the ‘relevant day’ occurred prior to 22 July 2021 and the ‘base’ 20 business days assessment period had not expired on 22 July 2021, the business days between 22 July 2021 and the ‘designated daydo not count towards the assessment period and the public notification period then follows.

2.2.6     If the ‘relevant day’ occurs after 22 July 2021 but before the ‘designated day’, the planning assessment period for the development application commences on the ‘designated day’ and the public notification period then follows.

Please call Victoria Shute on 08 8113 7104, Laura Antoniazzi on 08 8113 7115 or Lucy Ryan on 08 8113 7107 with any questions.