Cessnock Council “not ready” to get planning powers back

Cessnock Council “not ready” to get planning powers back

Updated November 24, 2011 08:31:40  from ABC Newcastle Radio

NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard says Cessnock Council still not ready to regain planning powers.

The New South Wales Planning Minister Brad Hazzard says he does intend to return Cessnock Council’s planning powers, but believes it is not yet ready to take on the responsibility.

The previous Labor Minister Tony Kelly stripped the council of its powers in October 2010 after concerns about lengthy delays in determining development applications.

Mr Hazzard says he has been consulting with the Council’s General Manager on the issue, but believes the elected representatives are not yet ready.

“I have to be satisfied as the Minister on behalf of the local community that the problems that allegedly existed previously, no longer exist at this point,” he said.

“Suffice it to say that I haven’t been able to satisfy myself on those issues.

“But I’m very close to that and we’re working our way through it.”

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