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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Data centres is one area which has been identified to expand as a complying development opportunity. A streamlined approval for data centres will help stimulate investment and deliver employment generating development faster.


Data centres program explained

Data centres are facilities for storing and processing large quantities of electronic data on computer servers. Almost all businesses and governments use data centres, building their own, renting space in co-location facilities or using cloud services that rely on data centres. Each data centre development directly contributes as much as $1 billion in construction and fit-out costs to the NSW economy and forms critical infrastructure for the information technology (IT) sector.


The need for data centres has been growing since the invention of the internet. Recently, digital trends and technological advancements, such as the Internet of Things, 5G and cloud computing, have driven exponential growth. The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up this demand, with remote working and onshoring trends creating the need for more data storage and processing.


The department and councils, have seen a rise in the number of data centre development applications (DAs), particularly using the regional development or State significant development pathways which can be a lengthy and expensive process.


The department is proposing to make changes to State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) to facilitate more growth and development of data centres and promote economic recovery through a streamlined approval process.


Have your say

The planning system has an important role to play in helping NSW unlock productivity, support innovation and enable job creation and investment.


We have prepared an Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) on a complying development pathway for data centres in the Codes SEPP, as well as a range of technical standards to govern their impacts. In addition to data centres, we are seeking feedback on land use and business agility; opportunities for industrial and commercial land use; and neighbourhood centres.

The EIE is currently on public exhibition until 9 May 2021.


Read the EIE


For more information about the proposed changes and to submit your feedback, please visit the planning portal.

Page last updated: 31/03/2021