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NSW Department of Planning and Environment
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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 a minor impact or can be carried out in compliance with accepted building or environmental standards. These 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.

We have prepared a list of the documents and drawings (PDF, 228 KB) that should accompany applications for development.

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

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The NSW Department of Planning and Environment commissioned Lisa Corbyn - former head of the NSW Environment Protection Authority and the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water - to conduct an independent review of the Department’s assessment reports for State Significant projects

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The assessment time for DAs determined in the quarter is worked out individually for each matter that is decided by the Planning Panels.

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

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More efficient development applications to deliver housing approvals faster.

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


The NSW Government has developed a new program to help support 14 selected councils across the state in Development Application and Planning Proposal assessments.

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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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This guide will help you understand if you need to seek concurrence, make a referral or apply for an integrated development approval.

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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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Each industry has particular characteristics that need specific policies and guidelines to help ensure the impacts and benefits are recognised and managed effectively.

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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.


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.

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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.

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Sydney and Regional Planning Panels were introduced to NSW in 2009 to strengthen decision making on regionally significant development applications and other planning matters.

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We’ve developed ‘Your guide to the Development Application process – Small housing development’, so the pathway to building your home can be faster and easier.