Who you lodge an application or certificate for development with depends on the type of development proposed.
Types of applications or certificates
The Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) ensures that new and upgraded homes across the state produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions and reduce water consumption. This is achieved by setting energy and water reduction targets for all new dwellings. BASIX certificates are mandatory for:
- All new dwellings
- Alterations and additions of $50,000 or more
- Swimming pools of 40,000 litres or more
A BASIX Certificate forms part of the documentation you submit to your consent authority, either your local council or a private certifier, when applying for a development and/or complying development application.
Complying Development Certificate
If an application is deemed complying development, there may not be the need for a full development application. Complying development is a fast track approval process for straightforward residential, commercial and industrial development, pending meeting specific criteria.
You are able to submit a complying development application for assessment to either the relevant council or an accredited private certifier.
The majority of applications for development in NSW are for local development. Local development applications, known as development applications, are to be lodged with the relevant council. This includes applications for Integrated Development and Designated Development.
Applications are typically publicly exhibited and submissions are invited from interested parties. The council then makes a decision on development applications when all relevant policies and considerations have been taken into account, and will notify you once a decision has been made.
Regionally Significant Development
For development proposals of regional significance, your application is to be lodged with the council. The application will be assessed by council staff and then determined by the relevant regional panel. Council staff will lodge the development application through the Joint Regional Planning Panel development and planning register on your behalf.
State significant development or infrastructure
State significant development or infrastructure applications are lodged directly with the Department of Planning and Environment. As these developments are of state significance, they are determined by the Minister, the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) or senior departmental staff operating under delegated authority from the Minister.
Development applications are normally publicly exhibited and submissions are invited from interested parties, and may be open for public comment to allow you the opportunity to have your say.
Biophysical Strategic Agricultural Land (BSAL) Site Verification Certificates
The site verification process enables mining and coal seam gas operators, and in some circumstances landowners, to verify if land is classified as biophysical strategic agricultural land. For information on Site Verification Certificates, read the Interim protocol for site verification and mapping of biophysical strategic agricultural land.
The documents that must accompany an application for development will vary based on the type of development, its size and the specific requirements of the consent authority. We recommend you speak with the council before to lodging your application to minimise any delays.
Statement of Environmental Effects
A Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) is a written report that outlines the likely environmental impacts of a development application. All development applications, except those for designated development, require a Statement of Environmental Effects to be submitted with the application to council. For developments that are likely to have a negligible impact, interior alterations and certain minor residential building work, only a brief statement is required.
A Statement of Environmental Effects details:
- How the application will comply with council's development control requirements (how the development will blend with the existing character of the locality).
- The steps that need to be taken to protect your neighbours (from being overlooked or having their views interrupted for example).
- The steps taken to protect the environment or lessen the expected impacts of the proposed development.
- Written information that cannot be readily shown on a plan or drawing.
Environmental impact statements
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a publicly available document which describes and details the effects a development proposal will have on the environment. The statement also advises how to best manage environmental impacts that may arise. Environmental Impact Statements are prepared by the applicant and represent their assessment of the likely environmental effects. The EIS is submitted with the development application.
When preparing the EIS, public authorities who hold relevant environmental information should be consulted. These public authorities are required to make relevant environmental information available to the proponent.
Environmental Impact Statements must include:
- a description of the project
- the main effect(s) the proposal is likely to have on the environment
- a description of the measures envisaged to avoid, reduce or remedy significant adverse environmental effects
- an outline of the main alternatives studied by the proponent.