New Council Announced - Cumberland Council


Council has established an independent hearing and assessment panel with a delegation to make final and independent determinations on development applications and recommendations for Planning Proposals to Council that are referred to it.

The membership of CIHAP consists of four members, two drawn from a pool of experts in the respective fields of environmental and planning, a rotating community member, and a permanent chair with a legal background.

The Honorable Paul Stein, QC, AM, is the permanent chair of the Cumberland Council Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel. Hon Paul Stein is a respected jurist, who is a former judge of the District Court of NSW, NSW Land and Environment Court and the NSW Court of Appeal. He was an acting judge of the NSW Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and a judge of the Court of Appeal of Fiji. He was also a former NSW Deputy Ombudsman and President of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, Chair of the Australian Consumers Association and Chair of the NSW Environment Protection Authority.

The Hon Paul Stein is currently the Chair of the Board of Governors of the NSW Law and Justice Foundation and the current chair of Manly, Mosman, Waverley Council’s Independent Assessment Panels.

The CIHAP will typically meet on the first Wednesday of each month at 11.30am at least 10 times each year. The specific dates and times are provided on the website.

The Panel will publish its reasons and conclusions for decisions and a record of voting and is subject to Council approved CIHAP Policy and Procedures.


CIHAP Policy and Procedures:


Code of Conduct:

Members of the CIHAP are bound by the Cumberland City Council Code of Conduct


Frequently Asked Questions :



Meeting Minutes & Reports:

            Meeting Minutes & Reports


What is the CIHAP ?

On 19 May 2016, the Administrator of Cumberland City Council resolved to establish an independent assessment panel, known as the Cumberland Council Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (CIHAP), to provide transparency and probity in the assessment of development applications (DA’s) and planning proposals, and to provide an independent forum for stakeholders (applicants, the community and objectors) to present and discuss issues relating to development applications and planning proposals.

The CIHAP is a panel comprising of a pool of planning/urban design experts that are independent of Council, a community representative and a legal chairperson. They provide additional and independent rigor in the assessment process without unnecessarily delaying the processing of applications and planning proposals which comply with adopted policies.

The Panel replaces the Council in determining developments that exceed the staff delegation and review planning proposals (rezonings) which will help streamline the planning process.

In the future it also means that Councillors will no longer be involved in the decision-making process for determining those DAs, allowing them more time to focus on strategic planning issues, such as the planning controls that underpin DA decisions.


Panel members

The Panel members are independent of Council and are listed as follows:


Chairperson: Hon Paul Stein QC, AM

Alternate Chairperson: Julie Walsh

Independent Experts: Community Representatives:
Stuart McDonald Paul Moulds AM
Brian McDonald Evelyn Scott OAM
Brian Kirk Martin Byrne
Gabrielle Morrish


The Panel members will be introduced at the meeting. The quorum for a meeting of the Panel is three members. Council staff will attend to provide technical advice on Council’s controls or answer questions if required.

The report on the Development Applications is prepared by Council’s Development Assessment Manager and the report for Planning Proposals by the Manager of Strategic Planning. These reports are for consideration of the Panel and include a full assessment of the application/proposal, the objections made and a recommendation.


When and where are meetings held?

The CIHAP will typically meet on the first Wednesday of each month and are held at the Council Chambers, Civic Precinct, 1 Susan Street, Auburn or 16 Memorial Avenue, Merrylands.


How is this CIHAP different to the current development application process?

Under an CIHAP structure, Councillors will no longer decide the outcome of these applications, instead they are referred to the CIHAP for consideration and determination.


How is this CIHAP different to the current planning proposal process?

All Planning Proposals where considered by Council and determined by the State Government. Under an CIHAP structure, Councillors will be better informed having an independent body review and make a recommendation on these important strategic documents.


Who can attend CIHAP meetings?
All members of our community are welcome to attend.


How can I address a CIHAP meeting?
If you wish to address the Panel regarding an item on the agenda, you must first register by either email or fax with Council on 9735 1222 by 12 noon on the day prior to the meeting.
Submissions by the applicant and objectors will be considered at the meeting. An objector is deemed to be a person who has made a written submission about the application.

The Panel shall, upon request, hear submissions from persons who identify prior to a meeting that they wish to make a submission to be considered by the Panel.

Unless the Panel otherwise permits, no resident, objector, applicant or supporter who addresses the Panel at any meeting of the Panel may speak for more than 3 minutes in respect of any one matter before any particular meeting.

If you address the Panel, your name will be included in the minutes of the meeting unless you request that it not be included.

Where there are a large number of persons making submissions with common interests, the Panel shall have the discretion to hear a representative of those persons.


Types of development applications referred to the Panel

Applications to be Determined under Delegated Authority to determine Development Applications in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and council’s policies, except as follows:

  1. Applications subject to unresolved 2 objections;
  2. Major development on Council’s property;
  3. Where the applicant or owner is a Councillor or member of staff;
  4. Where the General Manager has requested, or Administrator has requested in writing or a Council resolution requires that the application be referred to Council or appropriate Committee of Council;
  5. Where the application involves a variation to a development standard contained within the Local Environmental Plans and where there is a significant impact associated with the proposed variation as determined by Manager Development Assessment / Services and / or Director Environmental Planning Services / Executive Manager Planning;
  6. Where the applicant has proposed to enter into a Voluntary Planning Agreement in conjunction with the development application;
  7. Any application which the Administrator, General Manager, Deputy General Manager or Director Environmental Planning Services / Executive Manager Planning considers should be brought before the Council.

Note 1: Council’s Development Control Plans are to be applied in a manner consistent with that prescribed under Section 79C (3A) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Note 2: Unresolved objection is an objection that is considered by Manager Development Assessment / Services and Director Environmental Planning Services / Executive Manager Planning or their delegate to have planning merit, relevance, substance, reasonableness and validity and which has not been or cannot be addressed by the imposition of condition of consent.


Types of planning proposals referred to the Panel

All Strategic Planning Proposals shall be referred to the CIHAP for a recommendation to Council.


How will the meetings be run?

The CIHAP public meeting will commence at 11.30am and all registered persons will be invited to speak. A decision and minutes of the meeting will be provided on Council’s website detailing reasons and conclusions for decisions and a record of voting.
The CIHAP panel will prior to the meeting inspect the sites subject of the meeting.


The Agenda
The details of matters on the agenda are posted to this website and available to the public 5 days before the scheduled meeting.

Meeting Minutes
The Minutes of each meeting are posted to this website as soon as they are completed, usually on the day of the meeting. They are also included with the business paper for the next meeting.

Cumberland Council Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (CIHAP) Policy Cumberland Council Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (CIHAP) Procedure

Cumberland Council invites all artists and photographers over the age of 15, who live, work or study within the Cumberland Local Government Area to enter their works for a chance to be crowned a winner. This is an opportunity not to be missed for all artists and photographers of all levels, with great prizes up for grabs and an opportunity to showcase their work.

Entries close Saturday 18 June, 2016.


Merrylands Central Library will be closing for refurbishment from Friday 13 May 2016 to Sunday 29 May 2016 inclusive.

Greystanes and Wentworthville Branch Libraries will remain open during this period.

You will still be able to return books at Merrylands Library while we’re closed.

For the duration of the closure, Wentworthville Branch Library will be open 9.30am to 8.00pm Monday to Friday

Proceed to Library Catalogue


Council has endorsed the Draft 2013 – 2017 Living Holroyd Delivery Program (incorporating the Draft 2016/2017 Operational Plan) and Related Documents, which are now on public exhibition as per below.


Holroyd City Council has undertaken a review of building heights, built form and other related development controls within the Merrylands Station and McFarlane Street Precinct in the heart of the Merrylands CBD.


Council is currently seeking input from all stakeholders into the review of the long-term plan for the City’s future, the Living Holroyd Community Strategic Plan.


An update on proposed mergers involving the Holroyd City Council Local Government Area.

hand writing

Would you like to work on Election day at the next Federal Election?





Holroyd City Council has undertaken a review of building heights, built form and other related development controls within the Merrylands Station and McFarlane Street Precinct in the heart of the Merrylands CBD.

Dunmore Street announcement

Council is looking to help facilitate the revitalisation and renewal of Wentworthville Town Centre. This project is called Wentworthville Centre Revitalisation Project.

Step 1

Holroyd is financially sustainable and ‘Fit for the Future’

Scenery (7)

Council’s Living Holroyd program has been created to focus our city on the future.

group of people in a park

View the community’s decision on how to sustain services and infrastructure.