Homeowners and commercial project owners across New South Wales will benefit from easier processes for submitting development applications as the government seeks to mandate online planning state-wide.

In a joint announcement, NSW Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello and Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said local councils and building certifiers across 42 municipalities will need to start accepting and processing development applications, complying development certificates and post-consent certificates via the NSW Planning Portal by 1 July this year.

The remaining 86 councils will need to start using the e-Planning portal from July 2021.

Already, 28 councils are using the system.

The 46 who will be required to do so by July together comprise around two-thirds of determinations around the state and cover major population areas in Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Illawarra.

In a statement, Dominello said e-Planning will reduce development assessment timeframes and provide greater convenience and transparency for home-owners.

From the 28 municipalities already using the system, he said agency response times regarding requests had seen average reductions of up to 20 days whilst some jurisdictions had slashed application processing times by more than half.

“This initiative puts the customer at the centre of the DA process by eliminating paperwork, allowing applications to be submitted anywhere in real-time, avoiding delays and boosting transparency,” Dominello said.

“This mandate sends a strong message to communities and councils – we are putting the customer first and using technology to make life easier for people.”