In March 2018, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act 1979) was amended to require councils to create a Community Participation plan (CPP). At its meeting on 25 November 2019, Council resolved to adopt the Lithgow Community Participation Plan.
The Lithgow CPP is designed to inform the community on how and when they can interact with the planning system, including the making of new plans and controls as well as development assessment matters. Council is required to evaluate each proposal and weigh the scale of development with legislated community engagement requirements to create appropriate community participation pathways. Activities that the community can have their say on ranges from local strategic planning statements to development assessments for dwellings requiring consent.
An important understanding of community participation is that it is a process of negotiation and compromise where all parties’ voices are heard and considered. Responses from community engagement activities are taken seriously and help planning authorities make better informed decisions.
The CPP is a standalone document to the Community Strategic Plan as it only identifies the role of the council in regards to planning participation matters under the EP&A Act 1979.
The Lithgow CPP aims to:
- Identify and enhance viable opportunities for our community to participate in the planning system in order to achieve better and fairer outcomes.
- Increase awareness of planning systems in place by the EP&A act as well as council processes.
- Ensure that people’s voices are heard and legitimate concerns are considered.
- Ensure a consistent approach to participation.
- Meet legislative requirements of community engagement as set out by the EP&A Act 1979.
The Lithgow CPP applies to all land in the Lithgow City Council LGA.