Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP)

NSW Government legislation that commenced on 1 March 2018 requires Councils to establish Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs NSW Department of Planning and Environment).  These panels are to determine development applications (DAs) for certain development categories.

In Blacktown, our IHAP is known as the Blacktown Local Planning Panel (BLPP).

Why IHAPs?

Aside from matters dealt with by the Sydney Central City Planning Panel or Council staff under delegation, the new Panel will exercise the consent authority functions of Council for certain DAs. Elected Councillors no longer have any approval authority under the new provisions.

The primary function of an IHAP is to determine development applications that meet thresholds as determined by the NSW Government.  They will also have the function of providing advice to Council on planning proposals (eg: rezonings) and any other planning or development matter that is referred to the panel.

How do IHAPS (or Local Planning Panels) work?

The BLPP is made up of 3 professional members (1 Chair and 2 experts in a planning related field) and 1 community representative (selected from a pool of Council appointed panel members). 

The Minister for Planning has selected the 3 independent expert Chairs for the BIPP, who will rotate between various meetings. Council has selected 4 expert members (who will also rotate to fill the 2 expert positions required for each meeting) from a pool established by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and approved by the Minister for Planning. 

The Panels are governed by a code of conduct and operational procedures that will ensure the proper conduct of members, procedural fairness and efficient and effective meetings.

More Information

To find out more about the triggers for when a development application needs to go to the BLPP click here(PDF, 418KB)

To find out more about the triggers for when a planning proposal needs to go to the BLPP click here(PDF, 410KB)

For information on the Operational Procedures for the BLPP click here(PDF, 375KB)

To read the Code of Conduct for members of the Panel click here(PDF, 596KB)

For names of the Panel members and their Disclosure of Interest forms click here(PDF, 7MB)