The NSW Government has updated bushfire planning regulations to reduce red tape with bushfire assessments and speed up approvals for housing developments, whilst ensuring safety remains the number one priority. The changes apply only to new urban release areas in 40 NSW local government areas and do not apply to existing developments in bushfire prone areas.
Planning for Bush Fire Protection (PBP) 2006 provides the framework for development located on bush fire prone land in NSW.
All development on bush fire prone land must meet the requirements of PBP 2006, unless the consent authority has consulted with the NSW Rural Fire Service. A bush fire safety authority, under section 100B of the Rural Fires Act 1997, must be obtained from the NSW Rural Fire Service for subdivision and special fire protection developments on bush fire prone land.
Councils must consult the NSW Rural Fire Service when preparing draft local environmental plans for land identified as being bush fire prone.
The NSW Rural Fire Service has conducted a review of the current PBP 2006 and it is proposed that a new edition of PBP will come into effect in mid-2019.
To provide a transition period, a pre-release edition of PBP 2018 has been published by the NSW Rural Fire Service. Prior to the formal adoption in legislation of the new edition of PBP, developments (excluding complying development) that conform with the requirements of the pre-release edition of PBP 2018 can be considered in certain circumstances.
Where it is proposed to use the pre-release edition of PBP 2018, this must be undertaken as a Performance Solution in consultation with the NSW Rural Fire Service under section 4.14(1A) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
Until the new edition of PBP is adopted through the relevant legislation, PBP 2006 remains the law for development on bush fire prone land in NSW.
For further information about the pre-release edition of PBP 2018 and the transition period, please refer to the information on the NSW RFS website.
The Department is updating the relevant Regulations, State Environmental Planning Policies, a Regional Environmental Plan and Local Environmental Plans that reference PBP.
The proposed amendments will replace the existing references to PBP or associated publications with a reference to the new edition of PBP or the relevant publication. Additional amendments are also proposed in some cases to ensure that the relevant provisions are consistent with the new edition of PBP.
An Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) has been prepared to provide further details of the proposed amendments.
The public exhibition of the proposed amendments to the new edition of Planning for Bush Fire Protection is now closed and feedback is being considered.
Published submissions will include your name and the organisation on whose behalf you may be writing. Contact details such as email and postal addresses, and telephone numbers are not published.
The Department reserves the right to not publish selected submissions (in full or in part).
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Buildings less than 20 metres from boundaries outlined in the SEPP 14 – Coastal Wetland may be exposed to a potential fire hazard and so hazard reduction activities may be imposed to protect life and property. The Standards for Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Works in SEPP 14 - Coastal Wetlands (the Standard) has been developed to ensure that any bush fire hazard reduction will have minimal impact on the environment.
Following the repeal of SEPP 14 in 2018, coastal wetlands are now identified by State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018 (CM SEPP). Accordingly, an update to the Standard is underway.
Until this update has been completed, the Standard continues to apply when undertaking critical bush fire hazard reduction works in coastal wetlands. However, councils, government agencies and landowners undertaking these works should refer to coastal wetland boundaries as shown on revised mapping prepared in support of the CM SEPP. For the purpose of the Standard, ‘coastal wetlands’ does not include the area mapped as ‘Proximity Area for Coastal Wetlands’.
Detailed interactive maps can be accessed via DPE’s webmap viewer.
Page last updated: 08/04/2019