Complying Development (see also Exempt Development)
Low-impact development which meets specified development standards is classified under the EPA Act as ‘complying’. Although this type of development does not require a development application, it does require certification from either an accredited certifier or a council. State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 lists development which may be complying and the applicable standards. A Complying Development Certificate (CDC) may be issued by a certifier within 10 days. Adjoining owners don’t have to be notified until two days before construction begins.
Development Application (DA)
Application to carry out work or use land or premises.
Development Control Plan (DCP)
Detailed and usually comprehensive council rules for development adopted after public consultation. Details may include controls for parking, setbacks, gross floor area, height, solar access etc. Councils may approve non–complying DAs, provided DCPs are followed.
Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (EPA Act)
The principal act of the NSW Parliament regulating the planning and development approval process.
Environmental Planning Instrument (EPI)
A statutory plan approved and published by the Department of Planning, it includes LEPs, SEPPs and REPs. Compliance is mandatory.
Exempt Development (see also Complying Development)
Low-impact development which adheres to specified development standards is classified under the EPA Act as ‘exempt’. Because neither planning nor construction approval is required, the development can be built without the approval of the council or an accredited certifier and without notification of neighbours.
Freedom of Information Act 1989
The FOI Act allows access to documents held by state government agencies, including councils, subject only to restrictions necessary for the proper administration of the agency.
Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP)
Projects over $10 million are considered by the Joint Regional Planning Panel, which takes development approval decisions out of council hands. Three of the five JRPP panellists are State appointees. The other two are council representatives.
Land & Environment Court (LEC)
The LEC is the division of the Supreme Court of NSW. Amongst other matters, it deals with appeals, mostly by applicants, against council refusals of development consent.
Local Environmental Plan (LEP)
An LEP defines the land use zoning and development status of all sites within a local government area (LGA). The principal statutory instrument regulating land use and development, it states the objectives of each zone and lists uses which are prohibited, permissible with consent, or permissible without consent. All councils are revising their LEPs to conform to a new standard LEP. This process should be completed by the end of 2011.
Local Government Act
The principal Act of the NSW Parliament, this establishes the structure and duties of local government.
Local Government Area (LGA)
The area over which a council has jurisdiction.
Part 3A of the EPA Act was introduced to streamline the planning process and fast track the assessment of large infrastructure projects including State Significant Development. Projects over $100 million are automatically subject to Part 3A. The Planning Minister or the Planning Assessment Commission is the approval authority.
Principle Certifying Authority (PCA)
The Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) is responsible for inspecting building and subdivision work during the construction phase of development. Either council or a private accredited certifier can be appointed to act as the PCA.
Section 12 Application
This clause of the Local Government Act permits access to DA files free of charge. Copies of documents may be made. A small fee may be charged for copying.
Section 82A review
A review carried out at the request of applicant following a refusal or the imposition of unwanted conditions of consent. There is no time which must be met by council? The review is usually conducted by an officer other than the one who assessed the application.
Section 96 Application
Section 96 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 allows a development consent to be modified provided it is substantially the same. The type of modification requested determines which of the four categories of application is applicable:
- Section 96 (1) - involving only minor error, misdescription or miscalculation
- Section 96 (1A) - involving minimal environmental impact
- Section 96 (2) - involving modifications to a development which is substantially the same development
- Section 96 AA (1) - modification of consent granted by the Land & Environment Court.
State (NSW) Commercial and Industrial Code
This Code permits minor development of retail, commercial, office, warehouse and light industrial sites and premises. It includes provision for change of use within the various categories of use across all of NSW.
State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP)
A mandatory planning policy created by the Department of Planning, a SEPP can apply across the whole State or to specific places, sites or types of development.
State (NSW) Housing Code
A Code outlining how new residential houses, alterations and additions can be approved as complying development within 10 days, provided they are within certain zones and of a minimum site size (450 sqm). It also establishes how 41 different types of minor improvements around the home, such as garden sheds or rainwater tanks, can proceed without planning or construction approval as exempt development.