State Significant Development
Some types of development are deemed to have State significance due to the size, economic value or potential impacts that a development may have.
Development that is State significant development (SSD) is identified in the State and Regional Development State Environmental Planning Policy.
Types of State significant development
The Government has identified certain types of development that are SSD, for example:
- new educational establishments, hospitals and correctional centres,
- chemical and other manufacturing,
- mining and extraction operations,
- tourist and recreation facilities,
- some port facilities,
- waste management facilities, and
- energy generating facilities.
A development proposal for any of the identified development types is SSD if it:
- is over a certain size,
- is located in a sensitive environmental area, or
- will exceed a specific capital investment value.
In addition, some development on identified sites can also be SSD. Identified sites include Sydney Olympic Park, Darling Harbour, the Bays Precinct and Barangaroo.
The full list of SSD development types and identified sites can be viewed in Schedules 1 and 2 to the State and Regional Development State Environmental Planning Policy.
The Minister for Planning may also 'call in' development proposals if a proposal is considered to be of State significance. To find out more about the Ministerial 'call in' process, view the Policy Statement and Guideline prepared by the Department.
How can I find out about a State significant development application?
All SSD applications are listed on the NSW Planning Portal. The application and all supporting information are available to view online. The website's tracking system identifies what stage a project is up to in the assessment process.
The Department's assessment report and the application determination (including conditions of consent or reasons for refusal) are also made available to view on the portal.
How to lodge a State Significant Development Application
Once you have determined that your proposal is SSD, you can lodge your application online with the Department.
Who determines State significant development applications?
The Minister for Planning is the consent authority for SSD applications. SSD applications are assessed by the Department of Planning and Environment. In some cases, the Minister may delegate the decision making function to Department staff.
In addition, if an SSD proposal is not supported by the relevant council(s), or the Department has received more than 25 public objections, the Department's recommendation is referred to the independent Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) for determination.
To find out about applications referred to or determined by the PAC, visit the Planning Assessment Commission's website.
Will I be consulted about a State significant development near me?
All applications for SSD are publicly exhibited for a minimum 30 days (longer if the exhibition overlaps with school holidays).
During the public exhibition period for SSD applications, the Department will:
- notify surrounding residents in writing (council is consulted on the notification area, which will vary depending on the scope of the proposal),
- place an advertisement in a State wide newspaper,
- place electronic copies of the application and all supporting information on the Department's major projects website, and
- make hard copies of the application and all supporting information available at the relevant council's office and the Department's main office (23-33 Bridge Street, Sydney 2000).
How can I comment on a State significant development?
You can make an online submission about an SSD application during the public exhibition period via the relevant application page on the NSW Planning Portal.
You can also send any written submission to the Department by post.
You can view the State significant applications currently on public exhibition.
How is State significant development assessed?
SSD applications are assessed by the Department of Planning and Environment. The Department considers the following when assessing SSD applications:
- existing strategic plans and policies (including State, regional and local),
- feedback and comments from the relevant council(s),
- specialised and technical input and advice received from Federal and State Government agencies,
- public submissions received during the exhibition, and
- the public interest.
The Department's assessment and recommendation are set out in the Department's Environmental Assessment Report. The recommendation (including either conditions of consent or reasons for refusal) is referred to the Minister, or his delegate for determination.
More information about the assessment processes for SSDs is included in the Department's Planning Circular.
Examples of Government Agencies Consulted by the Department:
- Environment Protection Authority,
- Office of Environment and Heritage,
- Department of Primary Industries,
- Roads and Maritime Services,
- Transport NSW,
- Department of Education and Communities, or
- NSW Health.
Can a State significant development approval be modified?
An applicant can apply to the Minister for Planning to modify an SSD approval. Requests must be lodged with the Department of Planning and Environment for assessment. The modification request will be appropriately notified / exhibited depending on the scale of the proposed modification and the potential for environmental or social impacts.
Can the decision of the consent authority be appealed?
Applicant Appeal Rights
An applicant can lodge an appeal against a determination with the NSW Land and Environment Court within 6 months of the decision (or within 6 months of lodgement of a modification application).
Objectors Appeal Rights
Objectors can only lodge an appeal against the merits of an SSD determination when the development would otherwise have been designated development. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the notification of the decision.
Anyone can appeal the legal validity of a decision if they consider that there has been a breach of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 in determining the application. The appeal must be made within 3 months of the decision being notified.
Further information can be found in the Development Assessment Appeal Rights Fact Sheet.
Standard and Model Conditions
The Department has prepared sets of standard and model conditions to help the development industry, community, councils and government agencies understand the types of conditions likely to be applied to State significant projects if they are approved.
By providing these sets, the Department aims to:
- provide standard definitions and approaches to issues common to a particular industry,
- reduce duplication and inconsistency,
- simplify compliance requirements for approved development.
In developing the conditions, the Department has considered feedback from industry, councils and other government agencies.
The conditions are based on sample determinations and cover the following sectors:
- Mining and Extractive Industry (Petrochemical and Gas Production),
- Urban Development,
- Linear Infrastructure,
- Industry and Manufacturing,
- Waste and Remediation,
- Energy, and
- Wind Farms.
Updated conditions for open cut and underground mining are not being published now due to the review of mining policy.