The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment is currently in the process of drafting new legislation as it relates to Child Care Centres, Schools, TAFEs and Universities. This is a recognition from the State Government through affirmative action to address inconsistencies in the way these types of development are currently assessed by various local governments. The changes specifically as they relate to Child Care Centres also attempt to address an election promise by the Government to make it easier to deliver much needed child care uses across the state.
The relevant legislation being drafted is entitled the ‘Education and Child Care State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP)’. The changes align the planning system with the ‘National Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Facilities’ and introduce the ‘Child Care Planning Guideline’. The implementation of these documents into legislation will provide for a level playing field for local governments in assessing centre based Child Care Development Applications. Other changes involve amending all Local Environmental Plans to allow for centre based Child Care in the R2 Low Density zone and IN2 Light Industrial zone, noting that some local government areas currently restrict or provide for onerous planning controls for child care uses in these zones.
If you would like to ascertain how these prospective changes apply to your development site or how they relate to an existing Child Care Centre, please do not hesitate to contact Duncan Livingstone in our Sydney office.