Monday, January 24, 2022

NSW school construction red tape cut

The NSW Government has announced it will fast-track the construction of new and upgraded education facilities across the State by slashing unnecessary red tape.

The construction and upgrading of schools, TAFE colleges and universities will be streamlined with changes to planning rules removing the need for lengthy planning approvals for smaller scale projects, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes said today.

The Minister said changes to planning rules will:

  • Enable two-storey buildings to be constructed at existing schools and tertiary institutions under strict conditions, without the need for a development application;
  • Enable smaller schools and student housing to be determined by councils or regional planning panels, rather than the NSW Government.

Importantly the changes will not compromise on existing building codes and safety standards, he said.

“New and upgraded facilities at schools, TAFEs and universities can be fast-tracked if they meet strict standards under our updated rules,” Mr Stokes said.

“Speeding up the planning process means we can get shovels in the ground and new classrooms up and running.”

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell said $7.9 billion would be invested in new and upgraded schools over the next four years.

“This is exciting news for the future of our school facilities. Students and teachers will be able to access updated and new learning facilities faster, a win for the whole school community,” Ms Mitchell said.

Guidelines have also been updated for child care centres, to ensure councils take the character and heritage of a neighbourhood into consideration when deciding on new child care centres.

For more information, visit planning.nsw.gov.au/education-sepp

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