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Determination Process

A State significant development (SSD) application is referred in full to the Independent Planning Commission only after it has been publicly exhibited and assessed by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

The Department provides the Commission a whole-of-government assessment report, which is published on the Department’s website and the Commission’s website. The Department’s report is not binding on the Commission’s decision.

A public meeting is a meeting to enable the Commission to hear public views on the assessment report.

There is no statutory requirement for the Commission to hold a public meeting before determining an application.  The considerations that will guide the Commission in relation to the holding of a public meeting before making a decision on an application are set out in the attached guidelines.

The  public meeting does not affect appeal rights under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EP&A Act).

For further information, please see the Commission’s Public Meeting Guidelines.
The Commission may meet with the applicant, the Department (or other government agencies), the relevant local Council and other interested people before making its decision, if the Commission considers that it is necessary to do so. Records of such meetings will be kept in accordance with the Commission's Meeting Record Policy.

Public hearing process

Under the EP&A Act, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces may formally ask the Commission to hold a public hearing in relation to a development application or any other planning matter at any time. If such a request is made, the Commission must hold a public hearing, it is not discretionary.  
The Commission will give advanced notice of the date, time and location of the public hearing and invite interested people to apply to speak at the public hearing.

The Commission also has powers to require certain people to attend the public hearing and to give evidence. 

Following a public hearing, the Commission will prepare and then publish on its website a report containing recommendations to the Minister. If a public hearing is held, merit appeal rights to the NSW Land and Environment Court are extinguished.  
The Minister may request the Commission to hold a public hearing across more than one stage, a 'multi-stage public hearing', for State significant development applications (see below).

For further information, please see the Commission's Public Hearing Guidelines.

Multi-stage public hearing process for State significant development

A multi-stage public hearing is a type of public hearing that is held in more than one stage. Each 'stage' involves a 'town hall' style forum, which is directed to particular aspects of the application under consideration. Together, these stages form one public hearing. A multi-stage public hearing will only be held for SSD applications if the Commission is requested to do so by the Minister.

When the Commission, at the request of the Minister, holds a public hearing (including a multi-stage public hearing) in relation to an SSD application for which it is the consent authority, merit appeal rights in respect of any future decision on that application are extinguished.

For further information, please see the Commission's Multi-stage Public Hearing Guidelines.
The Minister's letter to the Commission

How we manage correspondence

What you should know before sending written correspondence to the Independent Planning Commission:

  • Once it is received your correspondence or email will become a formal record. All documents provided to the Commission are public documents and can be made publicly available on the Commission's website, please refer to the Commission's Privacy Statement for further details.
  • Your correspondence may be used for statistical reporting purposes.
  • The Commission receives large volumes of correspondence and does not respond to all correspondence, this includes:
    • submissions or comments made on a project the Commission is considering. All correspondence providing comments on a project will be referred to the relevant Commission members, for their consideration as part of the project;
    • correspondence where the Commission is not the primary recipient but marked as carbon copy (CC) or blind copy (BC);
    • unsolicited advertisements; and
    • correspondence containing offensive language or content. Any correspondence containing threatening content or advocating illegal activities will be forwarded to NSW Police Force.

What can you expect

  • If you are registering to speak at a meeting the Commission has advertised
    • Your registration is not automatically accepted, it must be processed and confirmed by the Secretariat.
    • If you have not received confirmation from the Secretariat within two (2) business days of your email please follow up to ensure your registration has been received.
    • The Secretariat releases a schedule of registered speakers on its website approximately 24 hours prior to each meeting.
  • If you are providing a submission or comments on a planning matter before the Commission
    • The issues raised in submissions and comments are considered by the Commission and where relevant they may be discussed in the Commission's report on the matter. You will not receive a direct response to your correspondence.

If you have an enquiry or complaint

  • The Secretariat will aim to reply to general enquiries or complaints within 10 working days. If additional time is required to consider your enquiry or complaint we will contact you to advise when you can expect a response.

Further details of the Commission's handling of complaints are set out in the Complaints Management Policy.