From July 1, 2020, Central Coast Council will be required to start accepting and processing all development related applications and post consent certificates via the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment ePlanning portal.
The aim is to streamline planning processes and provide more equitable access to planning information for Council customers as well as better overall transparency of the planning process.
A Council spokesperson said the portal would allow for Council’s lodgement processes to be completely digitalised which would improve application processing times.
“A single customer experience will be provided for our customers and the flow of real-time data will allow Council staff to identify trends and hotspots and improve Council’s overall ability to holistically plan for the future,” the spokesperson said.
“All stakeholders will be able to track the status of their application in real time resulting in better transparency and accessibility to information.”
Council plans to launch the ePlanning Portal on June 16.
“Given current COVID-19 restrictions, solutions are being finalised for a remote launch of the portal as well as ongoing remote customer assistance post launch,” the spokesperson said.
“In addition to these remote solutions, once Council facilities are re-opened to the public, self-service kiosks will also be made available in the Wyong and Gosford administration buildings for community use when submitting applications via the ePlanning Portal.”
Central Coast is one of 37 councils using the portal and the NSW Government is investing $9.7M to upgrade the system to help slash processing times by up to 50 percent.
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the Government’s $9.7M investment would deliver essential upgrades to the platform, including expanding the digital services to improve integration between councils, state agencies and the Department.
This means the Land and Environment Court will be able to access the system to assess and determine applications before the court.
However Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President, Linda Scott, said councils were awaiting a commitment from the State Government that fees and costs associated with the use and maintenance of the mandatory system would not be passed on to councils over coming years.
“We have not seen anything from the government about how they intend to fund the planning portal over the long term,” Scott said.
Press release May 5
Office of Local Government
Press release, May 7
Local Government NSW
Media statement, May 15
Central Coast Council