NSW councils offered $11m for local planning

The New South Wales Government has created an $11.2 million incentive for councils to complete their local environmental plans (LEPs).

Minister for Planning Tony Kelly wrote to councils last week inviting them to apply for funding under the $10 million LEP Acceleration Fund.

Mr Kelly said the new LEPs would lay the foundations for the delivery of new homes and jobs.

“This is a large and very significant body of work and the Department of Planning has been working in close partnership with councils to deliver these plans in line with the Government’s Standard LEP Template,” he said in a statement.

“Now the Government is also assisting councils financially with this work, with a particular focus on helping councils to deliver new LEPs within their specified timeframes.”

The LEP Acceleration Fund is expected to assist councils in a number of areas, inlcuding: undertaking or completing outstanding strategic or technical studies underpinning LEPs;  legal or specialist planning advice; procuring Geographic Information System (GIS) resources to assist in completion of the LEP mapping; backfilling positions to allocate LEP work to a full-time staff member; and seeking assistance from Department of Planning officers.

The priority program for the delivery of Standard Instrument LEPs, announced last year, targeted 67 council areas for completion by June 2011.

Mr Kelly announced last week that 25 of the LEPs were complete and a further 58 were “well advanced”.

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