City Plan Extends Range of Services to Include Independent Mediation & Conciliation


City Plan has extended its range of services to include independent mediation and conciliation.

Our Heritage Director, Kerime Danis, has recently become an NMAS Mediator, accredited with the Mediation Institute to aid in her Expert Witness services in the NSW Land & Environment Court proceedings. Kerime has established considerable skills in the ability to act as a mediator in assisting two or more participants to manage, settle or resolve disputes or to form a future plan of action through a process of mediation, or conciliation in respect of Heritage Planning and Property issues.

How can a mediator help?

The role of a Mediator/Conciliator is to remain independent to the issues at hand, and guide the parties through issues with the aim of reaching a mutually beneficial outcome. Kerime’s extensive heritage planning and conservation knowledge allow her the ability to quickly grasp the issues at hand. In this respect she is able to help the parties to:

  • Identify, clarify and seek understanding of each party’s underlying needs and issues in dispute,
  • Develop alternatives,
  • Generate and evaluate options,
  • Negotiate options, and
  • Assist parties to work toward reaching a practical and mutually-satisfying outcome, and making a decision(s) .

The advantage of this service is that it relieves existing stretched staff resources. Mediation has the ability to reduce costs as it eliminates the need to outsource the running of a s34 conference or appeal hearing if prior agreements of both parties can be achieved. The savings to budget in staff and dollars can be significant. With the aim of parties discussing and resolving issues, mediation services can be used at any time during the Development Application or Planning Proposal assessment period. Once an application is within the Land & Environment Court System, our services can be invaluable to get the parties talking, with the view to agree to an outcome prior to full hearing.

Should you wish to discuss this service further, or obtain a fee quotation, please do not hesitate to contact Kerime Danis on

City Plan Extends Range of Services to Include Independent Mediation & Conciliation2021-08-25T14:58:52+10:00

Government Announces Construction Sites to Reopen from 31 July


The Government announced yesterday that construction sites in some areas of Sydney would reopen from Saturday 31 July. A further announcement was made today to allow for preparations to be made ahead of Saturday’s recommencement.

Preparation for restarting construction

From today, Thursday 29 July 2021, work and activities in preparation for construction work at construction sites in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas (but excluding the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta local government areas) may be carried out. This includes:

  • checking or maintaining installations and equipment
  • cleaning, waste removal or waste management
  • stocktaking or restocking
  • delivery of materials or equipment
  • servicing or installation of amenities
  • relocation on the construction site of plant or equipment
  • issuing permits or certificates
  • establishing COVID Safe arrangements or procedures
  • erecting fencing or hoarding
  • inspections, including for
    • technical reasons, or
    • safety, including work, health and safety, or
    • for valuations or other financial reasons
  • removing water
  • connecting power, fuel or services
  • safety work, including work related to fire safety or electrical safety
  • surveying or marking out
  • training required to be carried out on the construction site.

When construction resumes

From the beginning of Saturday 31 July 2021, work at constructions sites in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas (but excluding sites in the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta local government areas) will be permitted to resume with each site required to have a  COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Western Sydney restrictions

Until further notice, work at construction sites in the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool or Parramatta local government areas is not to be carried out unless the work is urgently required:

  • to ensure the safety or security of the construction site
  • to deal with environmental risks
  • to maintain and ensure the integrity of critical plant, equipment or assets, including partially completed works, that
  • would otherwise deteriorate
  • to receive deliveries of supplies that would otherwise deteriorate
  • to maintain public utilities
  • to ensure the safe operation of existing transport infrastructure
  • by or on behalf of NSW Health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • because of an emergency.

You do not need an exemption or confirmation from the NSW Government to carry out work that falls within one of these exceptions and is permitted.

If you live in the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool or Parramatta local government areas, you are not authorised to leave the local government area you live in to work at a construction site.

What this means for you

We take the safety of our team (and yours) very seriously. We have updated our safety plans to include the new requirements for mask wearing, maximum occupancy numbers on site etc. Our team continues to be available to undertake mandatory inspections on sites outside the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool or Parramatta local government areas. Any certifiers that visits your site do not live in the affected Council areas and will adhere to any additional safety measures implemented on that site.

For further information please contact your project managers or call 02 8270 3500.

Government Announces Construction Sites to Reopen from 31 July2021-08-04T17:52:16+10:00

Welcome to Our Newest Team Members


Over the past 3 weeks we have had some new people join the City Plan team – some of which you may or may not already know about. Please let me introduce you to:

Daniel Wong – Senior Access Consultant

Daniel is a highly skilled and well established architect and access consultant with 20 years in architecture and 6 years in access consultancy both in Australia and Malaysia. He joins the Sydney team as our dedicated access consultant and can be contacted via or 0426 522 614.

Scott Rathgen – Manager, Residential Certification

Scott has over 35 year of experience in development assessment and building certification within both council and the private sector. He joins our Gosford team as the manager of the residential certification team and can be contacted via or 0404 851 082.

Carol Stables – Accounts Manager

Carol is a chartered accountant with extensive professional services experience. She joins Theresa in the Sydney team as our accounts manager and can be contacted via (for general accounts/invoicing enquiries) or 8270 3500.

We are excited to be able welcome Daniel, Scott and Carol to the team and hope it won’t be too long before we can introduce them to our clients in person…

Welcome to Our Newest Team Members2021-07-27T17:17:30+10:00

Garry Fielding retires


It’s the end of an era in the planning profession as Garry Fielding retires from the world of consulting. Garry will continue his role as Chair of the Western Regional Planning Panel and various local planning panels, as well as spending more time with his beautiful grandchildren!

Garry joined the City Plan team at the beginning of 2012 and his first task was to reopen our Newcastle office! Since that time, our Newcastle presence has grown from strength to strength, built largely on Garry’s fantastic reputation in the Hunter region and Sydney/NSW more broadly.

Garry’s career spanned 26 years in Local Government before he joined the NSW State Government. He spent the last 17 years as a consultant calmly and wisely shepherding projects through the planning system.  His extensive service to the planning profession was recognised in 2018 when he became a PIA Life Fellow.

We thank Garry for his service to City Plan and to the planning community as a whole and wish him a long, happy and healthy retirement.

Garry Fielding retires2021-07-07T09:56:53+10:00

Rocky Hill Memorial Museum wins 2021 Blackett Prize


Congratulations to Crone Architects who were awarded the 2021 recipient of the Blackett Prize for the Rocky Hill Memorial Museum at last week’s AIA NSW Architecture Awards. The Blackett Prize is the State’s highest honour for Outstanding Regional Architecture.

City Plan is proud to have been part of the project team and provided BCA and Accessibility advice for the new extension to the museum.


Image courtesy of Crone Architects

Rocky Hill Memorial Museum wins 2021 Blackett Prize2021-07-06T17:21:41+10:00

Department of Planning Update – June 2021


Temporary Construction Work Days Order

A new Order has been made to allow construction work to continue on weekends in a safe way in order to create jobs and boost housing supply. Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development – Construction Work Days) Order (No 2) 2021, work will be allowed on Saturdays from 7am to 5pm, except for the carrying out of rock breaking, rock hammering, sheet piling, pile driving or similar activities. Quieter works will be allowed on Sundays from 9am to 5pm such as tiling, painting and safety checks as well as professional works and administrative activities related to a construction site. No work will be allowed on public holidays.

The new Order aims to support industry to continue to operate safely while providing residents respite with limits on what work can be undertaken.

These changes will be in place until March 2022. Further details of the changes can be found here.

Department of Planning Update – June 20212021-06-21T12:54:26+10:00

Congratulations to our “Fab Four”


It is a day of celebration as four of our planning team graduate from the University of NSW today.

Congratulations to Rebecca O’Donnell, Chloe Boyd, Zoe Spurway and William Wolter – you have worked so hard over the last few years and your successes are very much deserved.

An exciting and rewarding future is now waiting for you to make your mark upon it and we are looking forward to working with you as you further develop your careers.

Rebecca O’Donnell, Bachelor of City Planning (Hons)

Rebecca has experience in the analysis of statutory and non-statutory planning controls and the development of high-quality planning outcomes. Rebecca has been involved in a variety of projects, including the preparation of development applications for residential, commercial, mixed use and industrial development at sites across NSW. From this, she has gained a broader understanding of the NSW planning system and has acquired experience in how it can facilitate the needs of our clients.

Chloe Boyd, Bachelor of City Planning (Hons)

Chloe is an enthusiastic young planner who looks forward to continuing her work in the strategic and statutory planning fields and expanding her knowledge of the planning system. Through her involvement in a variety of projects within metropolitan and regional NSW, Chloe is continually developing her planning skills and knowledge with regard to strategic and statutory planning, always aiming to find the best outcome for clients.

Zoe Spurway, Bachelor of City Planning (Hons) Class 2, Division 2)

Zoe is diligent town planner who has gained experience and knowledge in statutory and strategic planning through her involvement in a variety of projects. Zoe’s enthusiasm to continue to develop her planning skills is supported by her strong project management, research and organisational skills that drives and achieves the best outcomes for her clients and built environment.

William Wolter, Bachelor of City Planning (Hons)

William is a passionate town planner who strives to deliver timely and positive development outcomes for clients. With sound experience in local government, his versatile skillset includes knowledge in both strategic policy and statutory planning. William has been responsible for the assessment of a range of residential, commercial and industrial developments which has equipped him with strong communication and time management skills.



Congratulations to our “Fab Four”2021-05-19T18:08:44+10:00

New Appointments to Independent Planning Commission Announced


The NSW Government has appointed four new Commissioners to the state’s Independent Planning Commission.

Mr Terry Bailey, Dr Sheridan Coakes, Ms Juliet Grant and Mr Tony McAvoy SC have commenced three-year terms with the Commission this week. Four current Commissioners – Professor Chris Fell AO, Ms Wendy Lewin, Mr Adrian Pilton and Mr Chris Wilson – have been reappointed for second three-year terms.

Meanwhile, six experienced Commissioners have completed their maximum six-year term with the Commission: Mr Ross Carter, Mr John Hann, Mr Andrew Hutton, Ms Ilona Millar, Mr Steve O’Connor and Professor Zada Lipman.

The Commission now has 18 members responsible for determining complex and contentious State significant development applications and providing advice to government on other planning matters.

Chair of the Commission, Professor Mary O’Kane, welcomed the new Commission members, while paying tribute to the service of her departing colleagues.

“The new Commissioners as a group will bring strong decision-making skills and experience to the IPC, while individually they are incredibly well versed in a diverse range of fields – such as planning law, environment and heritage, aboriginal cultural heritage and resource assessment,” Professor O’Kane said.

“In welcoming our new Commissioners, I’d also like to acknowledge and thank Ross, John, Andrew, Ilona, Steve and Zada for their commitment and valuable contribution to the Commission over six years.

“The planning system has benefited enormously from their expertise and experience, and their independent and reasoned consideration of the cases before them,” Professor O’Kane said.

Meanwhile, the Commission has also announced a new-look Mining and Petroleum Gateway Panel.

The seven new members of the Panel, which is a subcommittee of the Commission, are:

  • Professor Neal Menzies (Panel Chair)
  • Professor Ian Anderson
  • Emeritus Professor Joan Esterle
  • Dr Clinton Foster PSM
  • Mr Hugh Middlemis
  • Dr Catherine Moore
  • Dr Glen Walker

The principal role of the Panel is to assess the agricultural impacts of state significant mining or coal seam gas proposals located on Strategic Agricultural Land before a development application is lodged.


New Appointments to Independent Planning Commission Announced2021-05-11T10:01:53+10:00
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