Local Planning Panel

Local Planning Panel

From March 2018, the NSW Government introduced legislation requiring most Council's to establish Local Planning Panels. A Local Planning Panel, also known as an Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP), is a panel of three independent expert members and a community member who undertake the following functions:

  • assess and determine certain development applications, and
  • provide advice to Council on Planning Proposals (from 1 June 2018)


The Local Planning Panel Meeting to be held on 1 October 2020 will be available to the public via a Zoom Meeting. This meeting can be viewed through the following link:


If you are a registered speaker, please ensure when you join the meeting that you name yourself with the same details provided in your speaking request.

*please note you may need to download zoom prior to the meeting.

The NSW Government passed legislation requiring Councils to establish Local Planning Panels by March 2018.  These panels are to determine planning applications for certain development.

Elected Councillors no longer decide the outcome of individual development applications and are instead referred to the Local Planning Panel for consideration and determination.

From June 2018, The Local Planning Panel will review planning proposals and will make a recommendation to the Council.

Council resolved to establish an independent local panel at its meeting on 19 February 2018

Click here to view current Agendas and Minutes for the Local Planning Panel (LPP).

Agendas and Minutes for LPP meetings held before August 2018 can be found here.

If you wish to speak about an item on the Local Planning Panel agenda you must submit a form.  By submitting this form, you consent to being recorded and live streamed when addressing the Local Planning Panel.

The panel members will consider submissions made by objectors and applicants at the meeting. Applications will be accepted until 12:00pm (noon) the day before the relevant Local Planning Panel meeting.  Speakers have three (3) minutes to address the panel. 

Local Planning Panel meetings occur monthly on a Thursday in Council's Administration Building at 5:30pm.

The meeting format usually includes:

  • on-site inspection
  • public panel meeting, with an open forum for interested persons and groups to hear and make submissions about the development proposal
  • closed panel session for the panel to deliberate
  • decision released within 5 business days

Decisions of the panel are determined by majority of votes with each member casting one vote. In the event of a tied vote, the Chairperson has a casting vote.

To address the Panel on a development application before it, please click on the following link

Steve Kennedy          Chair 
Keith Dedden Alt Chair
Ian Reynolds Alt Chair
Vince Hardy Expert - Planning
Elaine Treglown Alt Expert - Planning
Mark Carlon Alt Expert - Planning
Fiona Gainsford                    Alt Expert - Environment
David Smith Community Rep
David Eden Alt Community Rep
Ian Tait Alt Community Rep


The Objectives of the Local Planning Panel are:

  • To provide increased transparency and an independent body for the determination of certain development applications and to advise Council on certain planning proposals.
  • To provide the community and stakeholders with increased involvement in the Development Assessment process.
  • To achieve best practice environmental, social, economic and urban design outcomes consistent with relevant legislation, Council's Local Environmental Plan, Development Control Plan and other planning controls.
  • To comply with statutory provisions, particularly the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
Scope of Panel

The Panel assesses and determines the following development applications:

  • Development applications (other than for certain minor developments) for which the applicant or landowner is the Council, a Councillor, a member of Council staff, a member of Parliament, or a relative of such a person;
  • Contentiousness development applications that receive ten (10) or more unique objections;
  • Development applications accompanied by a proposed voluntary planning agreement;
  • Development applications seeking to depart by more than 10% from a development standard;
  • Development applications for:
    • residential flat buildings assessed under SEPP 65;
    • demolition of heritage items;
    • licensed places of public entertainment and sex industry premises;
    • designated development, as set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
  • Any other development application, application to modify a consent or application to review a determination on a development application or application to modify a consent, at the discretion of the General Manager (Chief Executive Officer) or their delegate.

Regional planning panel will continue to assess and determine development applications within its scope, such as developments with a capital investment value of more than $30 million.

Development applications and applications to modify development consents not determined by the Local Planning Panel or a regional panel will be determined by Council officers.

From 1 June 2018, all planning proposals are required to be referred to the Local Planning Panel for advice.