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The SSD process

Determine DA

Making a final decision on the merits of a project

Who determines State significant development applications?

The Independent Planning Commission is the consent authority for a development application (DA) for State significant development if any of the following apply and the applicant is not a public authority:

  • the local council has made a submission objecting to the application,
  • the department has received 50 or more public objections in response to the exhibition of the application (petitions and submissions that contain substantially the same text count as one objection), or
  • the applicant has made a reportable political donation.

The commission operates independently of the department and other government departments and plays an important role in building community confidence in the SSD process.

When determining a DA, the commission may:

  • undertake a site inspection or tour of the local area
  • hold a public meeting
  • hold meetings with key stakeholders and publish the records of these meetings
  • hold a public hearing, if requested by the Minister.

The commission’s policies and guideline for these activities can be found here.

The Minister for Planning is the consent authority for all other DAs for State significant development. The Minister has delegated power for certain decisions to senior officers of the department. 

For more information about delegations please visit the delegated decisions page.

What is considered when making a decision?

When determining a DA, the consent authority must evaluate the merits of the DA against the matters in Section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 and may approve the DA, subject to modifications or conditions, or refuse it.

How is the decision notified?

After the determination of the DA, the department will:

  • publish the decision on the NSW planning portal
  • notify everyone who made a submission of the decision
  • give public notice of the reasons for the decision and how community views were taken into account in making the decision.