The Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel was originally established by Council in 2008 to provide an independent hearing forum for objectors and applicants on certain applications. This IHAP was an advisory panel only making recommendations to Council.
The IHAP became a mandatory panel on 14 August 2017 with the assent of the Environmental Planning and Assessment and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Planning Panels and Enforcement) Bill 2017. The purpose of the Bill was to require Council to constitute an IHAP which now has determination power.
On 22 June 2018 the Minister issued a s9.1 direction to require Councils to rename IHAP to Local Planning Panel (LPP). On 25 June 2018 Council also resolved to rename the IHAP to Wollongong Local Planning Panel (WLPP).
The WLPP or Council staff under delegation will now exercise the consent authority functions of Council, Councillors are not permitted to exercise consent authority functions.
The WLPP will also have the function of advising on planning proposals that are referred to the panel by Council (or at the direction of the Minister), and to advise Council on any other planning or development matter that is to be determined by Council and that is referred to the panel by the council.
The WLPP panel will continue to provide an independent assessment of particular development applications and determine applications.
The WLPP continues to provide:
- increased transparency, integrity and confidence in the development application assessment process
- an independent hearing forum for objectors and applicants with an increased sense of involvement in the outcomes of the assessment process.
WLPP referral criteria
The Minister for Planning issued directions under Section 9.1 of the EP&A Act 1979 on 23 February 2018. These directions outline the referral criteria for development applications to be determined by a LPP. The direction also requires that certain planning proposals are to be referred to a LPP for advice. The Minister also issued a code of conduct and operational procedures for LPP members.
The directions, code of conduct and operational procedures came into force on 1 March 2018 and replaced Council's former IHAP committee charter and code of conduct.
You can view the referral criteria, code of conduct and operational procedures on the Planning and Environment website and Council's website in the case of applications referred under Council's submissions policy.
Sue Francis - Chair
Allison McCabe - Alternate chair/expert
Robert Montgomery - Alternate chair/expert