HOME BUILDERS can expect delays in the midst of a construction boom due to a forced overhaul of the development application system the local council spent countless hours and resources to create.
The state government has rendered Tamworth Regional Council's (TRC) online development hub almost obsolete with new orders that all DA's must be lodged through the NSW Planning Portal from July 1, to streamline the system.
For Tamworth, the new planning portal throws a spanner in the works of processes that have been in place for six years, TRC development manager Sam Lobsey said.
"It's not good timing because we are in a bit of a boom at the moment and we're seeing a bounce back after the drought," he said.
"So it's not good timing for us to have to manage a brand new lodgement process considering we already have one operating.
"The biggest concern for us at the moment is that lodgement step, and we're working really hard to make sure we try to reduce any delays."
The average time it takes TRC to approve a DA is just more than 30 days, that doesn't include days where it is delayed because of requests for more information.
Fast track approval times are slightly more than 10 days, so the council is meeting the NSW standard requirements for DA approval times.
According to a Department of Planning, Industry and Environment spokeswoman, the state government has mandated all councils start to use the new portal to streamline applications.
"The portal is saving people time and money, reducing assessment times significantly, providing real-time data and adding more transparency to the assessment process by allowing the community to access applications and all related documents," she said.
There are now 122 councils that use the portal. TRC will still assess and manage applications.
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