More high quality schools will be delivered under draft planning reforms to address the increasing enrolments caused by the state’s strong population growth.
Education Minister Rob Stokes, Planning Minister Anthony Roberts and Early Childhood Education Minister Sarah Mitchell released the draft State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) Educational Establishments and Child Care Facilities for community consultation.
The draft SEPP will streamline approvals processes for delivery of new and improved schools as well as childcare facilities, universities and TAFEs.
A draft design guide for schools created by the Government Architect and a draft planning guideline for child care facilities are also included in the draft planning reforms package.
“These proposed improvements will make it easier to deliver well designed high quality schools where they are required,” Mr Stokes said.
“The Government and Non-Government school sectors will welcome the opportunity to work with the community as they continue to meet the challenge of increasing student enrolments.”
He said the NSW Government is committed to providing high quality educational environments that nurture our younger children and support the learning needs of every student.
“We need to invest in child care and educational facilities to foster young minds, to educate and train our future leaders and innovators and deliver a skilled workforce,” Mr Stokes said.
Planning Minister Anthony Roberts said the draft SEPP would ensure the education needs of Sydney and other parts of the state are met in the years ahead.
“A common planning approach, with all sectors following the same planning process, will ensure that new and upgraded schools can be delivered in the areas of greatest need,” Mr Roberts said.
He said the draft SEPP would assist in the development of necessary education and child care facilities to meet requirements of the extra 1.7 million residents projected to live in Sydney by 2036.
Mrs Mitchell said the SEPP would also streamline planning approvals for child care to allow an increase in the number of centres and permit greater workplace participation.
“The NSW Government is continuing to deliver for families by supplying more quality childcare where it’s needed,” Mrs Mitchell said.
The proposed Education and Child Care SEPP will:
- Simplify the planning assessment structure and requirements for the delivery of child care and education infrastructure;
- Align child care planning requirements with national requirements under the child care National Quality Framework;
- Expand the scope of activities that can be carried out at schools, universities and TAFEs as development permitted with or without consent, exempt and complying development;
- Level the planning field by ensuring a consistent planning approach for government and non-government schools;
- Improve regulatory certainty and efficiency through a consistent planning regime for education and infrastructure and the provision of services; and,
- Establish a set of design and planning principles to ensure that development of schools and childcare facilities deliver quality places to learn, and contribute to the local neighbourhood.
Proposed amendments to the Infrastructure SEPP are also on exhibition for feedback, which will help the timely delivery of social infrastructure, which includes upgrades to hospitals, emergency services and council amenities.
The draft Education SEPP and draft Infrastructure SEPP are available for public comment until 24 March 2017.