LOCAL councils and private certifiers determined $19 billion worth of development proposals last year, with a growing number of new homes getting priority.The Department of Planning’s local development performance monitoring report found about 71,000 development applications and about 10,000 complying DAs were processed in 2008-09.”The report shows the NSW government’s planning improvements are starting to speed up the local council planning process, including the 10-day approval process now available through the housing code,” said the Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly.”Residential single dwellings received the largest time saving when processed as complying development, taking on average 64 days less to process a complying development certificate for new single houses compared to an equivalent DA process.”That’s what the government’s news release says. What does the report really say?In 2008-09 the number of DAs determined by local councils dropped by 13 per cent from 82,404 to 71,638. The value of this development fell from $21 billion to $18.5 billion. The official news release might make you think the reason is growth in the number of complying DAs. But the number of complying development certificates issued (CDCs) also fell 13 per cent from 10,619 to 9194 and their value from $897 million to $853 million.The global financial crisis is blamed for this. But the proportion of complying development to all development stayed at 11 per cent – the same as in 2007-08 – and only 5 per cent by value. To say it is taking 64 days less time to process a complying development certificate compared to an equivalent DA process is not new.Councils have had their own complying development processes for more than 10 years and the introduction of the uniform housing code in February last year did not increase the proportion of complying development in the 4½ months to June 30 by even the slightest of margins. In fact, many applicants are choosing the council’s old complying development process in preference to the “fast-track” code. The average number of days to process a DA stayed the same as the previous year – 74 days – even though councils had fewer to process.Another reform was granting more approval power to private certifiers “to speed up the process”. But the percentage of CDCs approved by private certifiers has fallen from 46 per cent to 44.Another has been a cut in the number of referrals councils have to make to state authorities. But the percentage of DAs referred to external agencies in 2008-09 rose from 9 per cent to 11.Moves to “de-politicise” decisions on DAs appear to have had no impact. The percentage of DAs determined by elected representatives has stayed at 4 per cent and the number of councils which delegate more than 98 per cent of applications to staff has fallen from 45 to [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训.au