Amendments to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 allow bushfire affected businesses to operate temporarily out of a shipping container and/or a portable office for up to two years without council approval, while they plan and rebuild their permanent premises.
The provision will only allow existing approved businesses in business, industrial and RU5 Rural Village zones to continue to operate. The use must be a previously approved commercial or industrial use.
The maximum number of shipping containers/portable offices for business and/or storage purposes is two. Other development under existing exempt provisions can also be carried out – such as air conditioning units, access ramps and car ports.
The development must be carried out within two years of the State of Emergency being declared. In NSW, three separate State of Emergency declarations have been made in association with bushfires in recent months:- 11-18 November 2019
The development must:
Other relevant legislation will continue to apply. For example, for food and drink businesses, the requirements of the Food Act 2003 and associated regulations will continue to apply.
Example: A State of Emergency was declared on 3 January 2020 in relation to the NSW bush fires. On 23 January 2020, Hugh’s Homewares and Furnishings store was burnt down in the bush fire. Until two years after that date, Hugh can install a maximum of:
- two shipping containers on the lot, or
- two portable offices on the lot, or
- one shipping container and one portable office on the lot.
Any shipping containers or portable offices installed on the property must be removed within two years after they have been installed. Otherwise, approval from council will be needed. The property on which Hugh’s Homewares and Furnishings store was located in an RU5 Rural Village zone directly adjoins a residential property. Any shipping container or portable office Hugh installs for business use will need to be set back from the boundary of an adjoining residential property at least five metres.
Page last updated: 17/04/2020