Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000
Consent by owners
Consent ballot to be held
Consent to a proposed development plan by owners of the land subject to the plan is to be determined by the authority proposing the plan by holding a postal ballot (a ).The authority must—determine the form of the ballot paper, andfix the dates for forwarding of ballots to owners and the closing of the ballot, andappoint a returning officer for the ballot.The form of the ballot paper must be approved by the Planning Secretary.Without limiting subclause (2), the ballot paper must specify, or require the owner to specify the following—the name of the owner and the lot and deposited plan particulars of all land held by the owner that is subject to the proposed development plan,the name of any other co-owner of a lot so specified.The returning officer may be assisted by a person or persons approved by the authority.
Voting roll and ballot papers
The returning officer must prepare a voting roll containing the following matters—the names and addresses of all of the owners of each lot of land subject to the proposed development plan,a unique identifier for each group of co-owners of land subject to the proposed development plan,the lot and deposited plan numbers, and area, of the lots of land owned by each owner (other than as a co-owner),the lot and deposited plan numbers, and area, of the lots of land owned by each group of co-owners (identified by the unique identifier for each group).The returning officer must cause ballot papers to be prepared in the form determined by the authority and approved by the Planning Secretary.Each ballot paper must—be initialled by the returning officer or an appointed assistant, andbear a mark that identifies it as a genuine ballot paper.Each owner of land subject to the proposed development plan is entitled to one ballot paper, whether or not the land consists of one or more lots and whether or not it is owned with other co-owners or the same co-owners.For the purposes of determining the consent of an owner of land to a development order, 2 or more owners of the same lot of land are to be treated as one owner (see clause 3 (3) of Schedule 7 to the Act and clause 268ZG (4)).The returning officer must, at least 28 days before the date fixed for the closing of the ballot, send by post or otherwise deliver to every owner entitled to a ballot paper one set of the following material—one ballot paper,a statement as to the place, date and time at which the proposed development plan is available for inspection or the address of a website where it may be found,an envelope (the ) addressed to the returning officer and the reverse side of which is noted or printed with the name and address of the owner and the lots and deposited plan numbers of the land to which the ballot paper relates,a small envelope (the ) in which the ballot paper is to be enclosed,a statement relating to the ballot in a form approved by the Planning Secretary.The returning officer may send a duplicate ballot paper to any owner if the returning officer is satisfied that the owner has not received a ballot paper or that the ballot paper received by the owner has been lost, spoilt or destroyed and that the owner has not already voted.If a duplicate ballot paper is sent, the relevant outer envelope is to be marked with the word “Duplicate”.
An owner casts a vote in a consent ballot by—completing the ballot paper according to the instructions on the ballot paper, andsending the ballot paper, in the envelopes provided, to the returning officer.
Safe keeping of ballot papers
The returning officer must provide a ballot box that must be secured immediately before the ballot papers are delivered to the owners in accordance with this Division and must remain secured until the close of the ballot.The returning officer must place the outer envelopes in the ballot box not later than the time and date fixed on the ballot paper for the closing of the ballot.
Counting of votes
As soon as practicable after the date fixed for the closing of the consent ballot, the returning officer must, in the presence of such scrutineers as are appointed by the authority conducting the ballot, open the ballot box and deal with the contents in accordance with this clause.The returning officer must—examine the outer envelopes, andif a duplicate outer envelope has been issued and the original outer envelope is received, reject the original envelope and mark it “rejected”, andmark the owner’s name on the roll by drawing a line through the name and the lots of land to which the envelope relates, andremove the inner envelopes from the outer envelopes, andwhen all the inner envelopes have been dealt with in the above manner, open all unrejected inner envelopes and take the ballot papers from them.The ballot papers must be scrutinised by the returning officer who must count as informal any ballot paper that—is not duly initialled by the returning officer or appointed assistant or does not bear a mark that identifies it as a genuine ballot paper, oris so imperfectly completed that the intention of the voter cannot be ascertained by the returning officer, orhas not been completed as prescribed on the ballot paper itself.If a lot of land is owned by a group of co-owners, the votes are to be counted as follows—if all the co-owners or a majority of the co-owners of the lot cast a formal vote in favour of the development plan, the vote in respect of the lot is taken to be one formal vote consenting to the development plan for the lot,in any other case, the vote is taken not to be a formal vote in favour of consent to the development plan in respect of the lot.
Result of ballot
The returning officer must count all votes cast and make out and sign a statement of—the total number of owners who are eligible to vote, andthe number of formal votes by those owners consenting to the development plan, andthe number of formal votes by those owners against consent to the development plan, andthe number of informal votes by those owners, andthe number of envelopes marked “rejected”, andthe number of lots of land in respect of which no votes were cast, andthe proportion of the total number of owners of lots subject to the proposed development plan who cast formal votes in favour of consent to the plan, andthe proportion of the total area of the land subject to the proposed development plan that is owned by sole owners and groups of co-owners who have cast formal votes in favour of consent to the plan.See clause 268ZG (4) for how the vote of groups of co-owners of the same lot is determined.For the purposes of this clause, the means the sum of—the total number of sole owners of lots (whether or not they are also the co-owners of other lots), andthe total number of groups of co-owners of lots.The returning officer must give the authority and the Planning Secretary written notice of the result of the consent ballot, together with a copy of the voting roll.
Retention of ballots
The returning officer must retain—all ballot papers (whether formal or otherwise), andall rejected outer envelopes, andused in connection with the consent ballot, locked in the ballot box, for a period of not less than 3 months unless directed by the Planning Secretary to retain those items for a longer period.the voting roll,