Local development is the most common type of development in NSW, with projects ranging from home extensions to medium sized commercial, retail and industrial developments.
A development is considered local development if a local environmental plan (LEP) or State environmental planning policy (SEPP) states that development consent is required before the development can take place.
In 2013/14 local development approvals had a total capital investment value of $22.24 billion.
2013-14 Assessment Activity:
To view the latest Local Development Performance Monitor click here.
To find out if your development needs consent, you should first look at the zoning tables in the relevant LEP and/or SEPPs for the area of the proposed development.
You can enter your property address in the NSW Planning Portal to see what planning constraints and zoning rules affect your property.
Each LEP or SEPP will classify development into one of the following categories:
If your development needs consent, an application must be lodged with the local council. This will need to include:
The level of environmental assessment that must be provided with the development application will differ depending on the likely impacts of the development.
The procedures for applying for development consent, the level of environmental assessment required, the notification required and appeal rights will differ depending on how a development is categorised.The categories include:
For designated development an environmental impact statement will be required and third parties must be notified and can appeal against a decision to grant consent. Designated Development refers to developments that are high-impact developments (e.g. likely to generate pollution) or are located in or near an environmentally sensitive area (e.g. a wetland). There are two ways a development can be categorised as ‘designated development’:
Examples of designated development include chemical factories, large marinas, quarries and sewerage treatment works. For the Regulation’s full list of designated developments, read Schedule 3 of the EP&A Regulation.
If a development application is categorised as designated development, the application:
For integrated development approval will need to be obtained from other public authorities (e.g. the EPA) before consent can be granted. Integrated development applications require a permit listed in s91 of the EP&A Act. For example this includes an aquaculture permit, mining lease, pollution licence, Aboriginal heritage impact permit.
The consent authority must refer the development application to the relevant agency and incorporate the agency’s general terms of approval. It must not approve the development application if the agency recommends refusal. If the advice is not received in 21 days after the agency has received the application or requested additional information, the consent authority can determine the development application.
For advertised development, the consent authority will have to give the public notice of the development application. Advertised development includes:
The notification period for advertised development is 14 days, or 30 days for integrated development and threatened species development.
Differing minimum public consultation requirements apply according to the type of development. For example, designated development requires 30 days of public consultation and advertised development requires 14 days.
Development consents are issued by the consent authority. This is usually the local council, but can sometimes be the Minister for Planning if a SEPP specifies the Minister as the consent authority.
For more information about this process, please contact your local council.
All SEPPs and LEPs are available from the Legislation NSW website.
Page last updated: 17/05/2018