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Precinct Acceleration Protocol (PAP)

The Precinct Acceleration Protocol provides landholders with the opportunity to bring forward the release of their land for planning ahead of the Government’s program.

 

Those wishing to bring forward the release of their land for planning under the PAP must satisfy a number of criteria, as outlined below:

 

Stage One
Proponents must nominate the Precinct they wish to accelerate and advise how they will satisfy: 

  • their ability and commitment to finance and deliver the full estimated infrastructure for the Precinct and any connecting infrastructure linking the Precinct to existing urban areas. 
  • the extent to which they will pay monetary contributions and/or carry out works-in-kind for the provision of the infrastructure and the planning process. 

A precondition of the agreement is that there will be no additional cost to Government resulting from the acceleration.

 

Stage Two (implementation and approval) 
During Stage Two a detailed requirements package is prepared which must be agreed to by the proponent before the Precinct will be released for planning. 

 

Once a proponent agrees to the Government's requirements package this is incorporated into a formal Planning Agreement that will be placed on public exhibition as part of the Precinct Planning process. 

 

More information is provided in the following documents: 

Submissions for Precinct accelerations are assessed by the Department, which oversees the process and consults with the relevant Council and other Government agencies as required. The Probity Plan for Precinct Acceleration Protocol (Stage 1) outlines the processes under which submissions will be considered.

Biodiversity Certification

Biodiversity Certification has been granted over the Growth Centres SEPP. It balances the protection and management of conservation values with the efficient supply of land for urban development in Sydney.

 

Biodiversity Certification addresses biodiversity issues upfront. Landowners, Councils and developers will no longer need to undertake a threatened species assessment with Development Applications in areas classified as 'certified' under the Biodiversity Certification Order. 

 

Certification also provides $530 million to purchase areas of high conservation value or to enter into private conservation agreements both inside and outside the Priority Growth Areas.
Importantly, it cuts red tape by strategically addressing biodiversity issues and enables better conservation outcomes, with improved protection for the highest-quality and most sensitive bushland areas inside and outside the Priority Growth Areas. In addition, landowners, councils and developers will not have to look at biodiversity issues individually for Development Applications in areas which are certified.

More details are available in the Guide to Biodiversity Certification. 

Update to Maps of Certified Land (March 2015)

Changes to the subject lands maps for the biodiversity certification were approved by the Minister for the Environment on 20 February 2015. The updated maps amend the boundaries of certified land in the following 12 precincts to align with the outcomes of the precinct planning process:

  • North West Priority Growth Area – North Kellyville, Riverstone West, Riverstone, Alex Avenue, Marsden Park Industrial and Marsden Park

    The updated maps can be found on the NSW Legislation website.

Strategic Assessment Growth Centres Conservation Plan - August 2010

EPBC Act Strategic Assessment 

To enable development to proceed in the Sydney Priority Growth Areas while protecting Sydney’s precious environment, the NSW Government undertook a Strategic Assessment of the Priority Growth Area under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

The Commonwealth Environment Minister has endorsed the Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Program, and approved all actions associated with development of the Sydney Growth Centres as described in the Program Report. 

The need for site by site approvals under the EPBC Act for the approved actions is no longer required, as long as the actions are consistent with the endorsed Program. 

How do I know if an action is in accordance with the endorsed program?

Any proposal on land that is certified under the Growth Centres Biodiversity Certification is in accordance with the endorsed program.

Any proposal on land that is non-certified must be in accordance with the Relevant Biodiversity Measures (RBM) of the Priority Growth Areas Biodiversity Certification. For example, any proposal for essential infrastructure (RBM 11 of the Biodiversity Certification) that will result in the clearing of Existing Native Vegetation (ENV) on land that is non-certified under the Biodiversity Certification is in accordance with the endorsed Program if offsets required by RBM 11 have been provided and, where necessary, the requirements of RBM 12 have been satisfied.  

Depending on the location of the proposal other RBMs may also apply.  

If you are proposing essential infrastructure in the non-certified areas, please liaise with the Strategies and Land Release team in the Department of Planning and Infrastructure to ensure consistency with the all the requirements of the Biodiversity Certification and Strategic Assessment is achieved.   

How do I know if land is certified or non-certified?

The certified and non-certified land is shown on the Priority Growth Areas Biodiversity Certification Maps which are part of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act).

These maps can be found on the NSW Legislation website.

The Department of Planning & Environment will be preparing further fact sheets for local Councils, developers and State agencies. 

For a copy of the Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Frequently Asked Questions, please click here.

Background

The Strategic Assessment considered the potential impacts of development on matters of national environmental significance for the whole of Sydney’s Growth Areas. This allows strategic conservation outcomes to be identified and secured. It also provides greater certainty for those constructing new houses and employment areas, as well as infrastructure providers in the Priority Growth Areas.

This approach builds on - but does not replace - the Growth Centres Biodiversity Certification under the State Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. The Growth Centres Biodiversity Certification will continue to be implemented.

NSW and Commonwealth Governments entered into an agreement in 2009 to proceed with the Strategic Assessment. The agreement includes Terms of Reference for Strategic Assessment report.
General information in relation to strategic assessments under the Commonwealth EPBC Act can be found on the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website. 
 
The exhibition of the draft Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Report and draft Sydney Growth Centres Program Report was undertaken in 2010.

Annual Reporting on EPBC Act Strategic Assessment

Every year the Department of Planning & Environment prepares an Annual Report to meet the requirements of Section 5.1 of the Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Program Report 2010 (the Program Report).
 
The Annual Report highlights the outcomes achieved in each financial year, since the endorsement of the Strategic Assessment Program on 20 December 2011. The Annual Report addresses both the NSW and the Commonwealth Government biodiversity requirements, particularly the commitments for the relevant matters of national environmental significance (listed in Section 4 of the Program Report), and the funding provided and expended for offsets outside of the Growth Areas.
 
Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Annual Reports

Draft Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Report - May 2010

Draft Sydney Growth Centres Program Report - May 2010

Review of Environment Conservation and Public Recreation-Regional Zones (September 2013)

The amendment to the list of permissible uses in the Environment Conservation (EC) and Public Recreation-Regional (PR-R) zones of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Region Growth Centres) 2006 (Growth Centres SEPP) was finalised and notified on the NSW Legislation website on Friday 13 September 2013.

The changes include amendments to the list of uses in the Land Use Table in Clause 12 of the Growth Centres SEPP for the EC and the PR-R zones to reinforce the environmental objectives of that land to which these zones apply and ensure the permissible uses reflect the zone objectives.
These changes were a result of the review of the EC and PR-R zones undertaken by the Department as required under Commitment 3, Part 4 of the Strategic Assessment Program Report, to confirm they are adequate for conservation purposes.

Review of Environment Conservation and Public Recreation-Regional Zones - Post Exhibition Documents (September 2013) 

Review of High Management Viability Cumberland Plain Woodland and Priority Conservation Lands: Outcomes Report (March 2014)

Commitment 7 of the of the Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Program Report required a review of the Commonwealth Cumberland Plain Woodland higher long term management viability lands (HMV) identified under the Strategic Assessment for inclusion within the Cumberland Plain priority conservation lands (PCL).  The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), as the lead agency for this Commitment, has now completed this review.  The letter from OEH advising the outcomes of the review and the report are listed below.