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Infrastructure and other developments like housing require approval from a council, a Regional Panel, a Sydney planning panel or the Minister for Planning. These types of developments range from house extensions to major port facilities, roads and industrial projects. Some other developments have such a minor impact, or can be carried out in compliance with accepted building or environmental standards, and do not need approval from a consent authority. Other activities that don’t need approval may still need approval from a government agency before they can be undertaken. 

Information related to development assessment can be found in the following areas:

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Geographic areas

Some areas of the State have unique qualities that need special development assessment provisions to ensure the level of assessment addresses those characteristics properly.

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Council guide for Development Assessments

More efficient development applications to deliver housing approvals faster.

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Environmental matters

Environmental assessment policies and guidelines contain information about how important environmental matters are addressed during development assessment.
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Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels

An Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP), known as a Local Planning Panel is a panel of a chair, two independent expert members and a community member who assess development applications made to local councils.

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Joint Regional Planning Panels

Joint Regional Planning Panels were established on 1 July 2009 to strengthen decision making on regionally significant development applications (DAs) and certain other planning matters. Read More

Preliminary Regional Issues Assessment

The Preliminary Regional Issues Assessment (PRIA) is an initial assessment of social, environmental and economic matters relating to areas that could be released for coal or petroleum exploration. Read More
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Information on current and determined projects in the SSD and SSI systems can be viewed in the Major Projects Register. You can also lodge an application or comment on an application that is on exhibition. Read More
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Sydney Planning Panels

Planning Panels operate across New South Wales to provide independent, merit–based decision making on regionally significant development.

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An environmental assessment of the impacts of the development is needed for all types of development. The level of assessment varies according to the size, scale and location of the development.
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Each industry has particular characteristics that need specific policies and guidelines to help ensure the impacts and benefits are recognised and managed effectively. Read More
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Community Consultative Committees

The Department encourages proponents to engage with the community and stakeholder groups at all stages of these projects. Read More