Architects welcome release of Design and Place SEPP as a win for communities

The Australian Institute of Architects has welcomed the NSW Government’s release today of the new Design and Place State Environmental Planning Policy (DP SEPP) 2021 and supporting guides.

NSW Chapter President, Laura Cockburn, said communities across NSW would benefit from the proposed updates to the state’s planning processes.

“Communities across NSW will be the beneficiaries of the proposed updates and improvements to the planning system,” Ms Cockburn said.

“It is imperative that the planning and design of cities and towns evolves to address the challenges of climate change, as well as social and cultural divides, if we are to ensure a high quality, sustainable built environment legacy for future generations. 

“People’s basic rights to access sunlight, ventilation, privacy and open space must be protected and placing good design at the heart of the planning process will significantly improve outcomes for our communities. 

“The buildings and urban solutions we accept today directly impact on our ability to successfully navigate the key issues of the future – we need to design and build today for the future we hope to have. 

“The Institute supports planning policy which enables community input in shaping the future of places, delivers certainty for investors and the resulting confidence in the system. 

“We welcomed the opportunity to work alongside government in the development of the Design and Place SEPP and strongly endorse what it aims to achieve.”

In its submission as part of the Design and Place SEPP development process the Institute supported:

  • provision of well-researched planning controls that protect the core amenities for residents such as solar-access, cross-ventilation, privacy and access to open space;
  • a clear and consistent demonstration of design principles and objectives prescribed as part of the application requirements for a development application;
  • strengthening the role of BASIX and increasing sustainability targets;
  • learning to connect with Country at the earliest opportunity and embedding this knowledge throughout our approach to planning; and
  • an Urban Design Guide which puts quality place-based design at the forefront of strategic planning.

Further information about the Design and Place SEPP is available at