Community Participation Plans (CPPs) are now mandatory. They need to be prepared by Councils for their LGA to make it clearer and easier for members of the community to understand how they can participate in planning decisions.
They are intended to be high-level documents which describe how and when a planning authority, such as a Council, will engage with its community on the planning functions it performs. They need to explain to community members how they can have their say on planning decisions that could affect their future.
The requirement to give and publicly notify reasons for decisions came into effect on 1 July 2018. However, all applicable NSW planning authorities (e.g. Councils) will be required to have the final version of their CPP in place by 1 December 2019.
Local planning panels and Sydney district and regional planning panels are now required to give written reasons of their decisions and make them publicly available.
What They Need to Contain
At a minimum, CPPs must:
These are only the minimum requirements. Councils can go beyond these if they decide it is appropriate.
The form a CPP should take is not prescribed. It is up to Councils to decide the most appropriate approach.
For example, the CCP could be embedded in an existing Community Strategic Plan or Community Engagement Strategy. These are documents councils are already required to develop under the Local Government Act 1993.
Optionally, Councils could prepare a standalone CPP. Potentially, this could follow the example set and recommended by the Department’s own draft CPP.
However, a CPP CANNOT be embedded in a development control plan. Note that this is where councils have previously included public notification requirements for planning decisions.
CPPs are intended to be "high level". They needn't set out the specific engagement strategies or techniques for each type of planning proposal or project.
The Department of Planning & Environment has released some FAQs as well as webinar content to help local councils create and implement CPPs.
What Councils Need to Do
Time needs to be factored in for exhibition (minimum of 28 days) and local reporting cycles. Therefore, Councils should start acting now by:
How Centium Can Help
Centium can assist Councils in coming up with their first CPP. Our specialists have decades of experience in this area and can help uplift Councils' consultation practices as part of the CPP development process.
For more information you can contact us and also download the following files;