Child care and education infrastructure lays the foundations for our children’s learning from their earliest years through to their adult careers. The NSW Government is committed to providing high quality educational environments that support the learning needs of every student.
NSW needs to invest in high quality and cost-effective early childhood education and care facilities, schools, TAFEs and universities to nurture young minds, educate and train our future leaders and innovators and deliver a skilled workforce.
The NSW Government is proposing changes to the planning system to make it easier for education and child care providers to build high-quality facilities.
The NSW Government is proposing to introduce a new education-based State Environmental Planning Policy.
The proposed Education and Child Care State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) proposes changes that will make it easier for child-care providers, schools, TAFEs and universities to build new facilities and improve existing ones by streamlining the planning process to save time and money and deliver greater consistency across NSW. The proposed SEPP balances the need for delivery of additional educational infrastructure with a focus on good design.
The proposed SEPP aims to:
You can view the proposed SEPP online and make a submission until 7 April 2017
If you cannot lodge your submission online, you can write to:
Director, Industry and Infrastructure Policy
Department of Planning and Environment
PO Box 39
Sydney NSW 2001
We will publish your submission online. That’s why it’s important to read our privacy statement at www.planning.nsw.gov.au/privacy
Call our Information Centre on 1300 305 695. If English isn’t your first language, please call 131 450. Ask for an interpreter in your language and then request to be connected to our Information Centre on 1300 305 695.
We look forward to your feedback.
To make it easier for child care providers and developers to deliver new early childhood education and care facilities across NSW, the NSW Government is proposing the following changes to the planning system:
These changes will not affect the requirement for early childhood education and care providers to apply for a Service Approval to operate a service. In NSW, the Department of Education is the regulatory authority which reviews and approves applications for Service Approvals.
The proposed SEPP classifies the types of early childhood education and care facilities that can be assessed as exempt and complying development and those facilities that will need to go through the local development (DA) process. The SEPP contains key requirements from the national law so that new facilities are appropriately designed and built.
To support the proposed changes, all Local Environmental Plans across NSW will be amended. The amendments will:
The proposed SEPP will allow the following types of facilities to be considered as exempt development, as long as all planning controls have been met:
The proposed SEPP aims to remove the duplication and inconsistencies that currently exist when constructing a child care facility.
Most early childhood education and care facilities are defined as centre-based child care. Centre-based child care facilities need to be assessed through the local development process.
To help child care providers, developers and councils to deliver new, high-quality early childhood education and care facilities, a child care planning guideline has been prepared. The planning guideline includes national and state planning controls as well as best practice design guidelines. A copy of the draft planning guideline can be viewed at: www.planning.nsw.gov.au/educationandchildcare
The proposed SEPP will streamline and simplify the planning requirements for educational facilities across the State.
These reforms will make it much easier for public and non-government schools to implement a wide range of improvements and expansions to schools, such as upgrading sports fields, building a new library, and offering before and after school care services.
High quality design will be a key focus of the proposed planning improvements to ensure that new educational infrastructure enhances communities, delivers greater energy efficiency and contributes to healthy lifestyles for children.
Having access to quality early childhood education is vital for the development of our children and for the growth of the NSW economy.
These reforms will make it much easier for public and non-government schools to implement a wide range of improvements and expansions to schools such as, upgrading sports fields, building a new library, and offering before and after school care services.
The exempt development provisions for schools are intended to enable minor works to be undertaken within school grounds without planning approval provided that certain development standards are met.
Examples of works that may be permitted as exempt development include:
The proposed SEPP will permit development for the purpose of a school to be carried out with consent in prescribed zones.
All new schools and major expansions of existing schools with a project value of $20 million or more will require a State significant development (SSD) application, which is assessed and determined by the Minister for Planning. Other school developments with a value less than $20 million and that require consent will need a development application to be lodged with the relevant council.
The proposed SEPP will allow TAFEs and universities to expand and adapt their facilities in response to the growing number of people seeking tertiary qualifications, and to maintain our reputation for providing world class tertiary education.
Tertiary institutions will be able to build quality learning facilities more efficiently and economically. The new policy will also allow for more flexibility in the use of commercial buildings for educational purposes.
Through these reforms, the NSW Government is delivering on its commitment to building a world-class workforce to deliver strong economic growth for NSW.
TAFEs and universities play an integral role in training and developing a strong, educated worksforce to support economic growth in NSW.
The proposed SEPP will expand existing provisions applying to tertiary institutions to make it easier to improve and expand existing campuses and provide the services that students need, such educational premises, cafes, bookshops and recreational facilities.
The proposed SEPP would allow the following exempt development at TAFE and university campuses, provided the relevant development standards are complied with:
The proposed SEPP will permit development for the purpose of a university to be carried out with consent in prescribed zones. Schedule 1 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 will continue to apply to tertiary institutions, which provides that development for the purpose of educational establishments (including associated research facilities) that has a capital investment value of more than $30 million are SSD applications.
Developments with a value less than $30 million will continue to be local and regional development applications, dependent on cost of the project.
Page last updated: 27/02/2017