SHOALHAVEN City Council approved the fifth highest amount of development applications in NSW for the 2012-13 financial year.
Council approved 1395 DAs for the year worth $194 million.
Although that figure was down on the 1438 approvals the previous financial year, it still placed Shoalhaven ahead of many larger council areas such as Newcastle, Wollongong, Penrith City, Warringah and The Hills Shire.
Shoalhaven trailed only Blacktown with 1892 approvals, Sydney City (1840), Lake Macquarie (1764) and Wyong Shire (1429).
Council also recorded good results on the average time it took to approve applications, according to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) NSW Local Development Performance Monitoring (LDPM) report for the 2012-13 financial year.
On average, Shoalhaven took 31 days to approve a DA, which included days taken by applicants to provide further information, such as flora and fauna studies, or further information from other state agencies, commonly referred to as stop the clock or referral time.
That compared to 38 days at Wollongong, 54 at Wollondilly, 39 at Kiama, 29 at Eurobodalla, 43 at Wingecarribee and 33 at Shellharbour.
And if the time to supply additional information is deducted, council’s approvals topped the list, taking just 20 days.
Where days weren’t excluded Shoalhaven took on average 71 days to approve a DA.
Wollongong took 56 days on average, Wollondilly 101, Kiama 53, Eurobodalla 61, Wingecarribee 63 and Shellharbour 67.
While the figure might be higher than some neighbouring areas, council said that could be put down to the number of applications the organisation was receiving and in many cases the complexity of the applications.
A report going before council’s development committee on Tuesday said the 2012-13 results were slightly better than the previous year and compare well with surrounding and similar sized regional councils.
The $194 million worth of DAs approved placed Shoalhaven in 38th on the value list, equal with Shellharbour council, but ahead of councils of similar size such as Wagga, Wyong and neighbours Wollondilly and Wingecarribee.
Topping the list was Blacktown with $883 million worth of development approved, while Lake Macquarie had $398 million and Wollongong $355 million.
The Shoalhaven also had two appeals by applicants to the Land and Environment Court for DA determinations or deemed refusals. Both appeals were upheld in Shoalhaven’s favour.