A NSW Government website

Alpine resorts

Planning for NSW alpine resorts

Development assessments for alpine resorts are governed by Chapter 4 of State Environmental Planning Policy (Precincts-Regional) 2021 (Alpine SEPP).

The Alpine SEPP aims to protect and enhance the Alpine Region by ensuring development is ecologically sustainable, including the conservation and restoration of ecological processes, natural systems and biodiversity.

The Alpine Region comprises the following subregions in Kosciuszko National Park:

  • Blue Cow Terminal
  • Bullocks Flat Terminal
  • Charlotte Pass Alpine Resort
  • Creel Bay Alpine Accommodation
  • Kosciuszko Tourist Park Alpine Accommodation
  • Mount Selwyn Alpine Resort
  • Perisher Range Alpine Resort
  • Ski Rider Alpine Accommodation
  • Sponars Chalet Alpine Accommodation
  • Thredbo Alpine Resort
  • Thredbo Ranger Station Alpine Accommodation

The resorts host snow-based recreation in winter, and hiking, mountain-biking, horse-riding and fishing in the warmer months. The resorts make an important economic and social contribution to the state.

Key requirements of the Alpine SEPP include:

  • consideration of the Snowy Mountains SAP Master Plan and Kosciuszko National Park Plan of Management
  • consultation with National Parks and Wildlife Service and consideration of submissions received
  • geotechnical and land stability issues associated with construction in steep alpine environments to be rigorously assessed (see Geotechnical Policy (PDF, 429 KB), geotechnical forms and geotechnical maps below).
  • development proposals to be referred to the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) for comment and be authorised under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Where the Alpine SEPP applies

The following maps show the land to which the Alpine SEPP applies:

Applying to develop

The Minister for Planning is the consent authority for development. You must make your development application to the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure through the NSW Planning Portal.

The consent of the landowner (National Parks and Wildlife Service) is required before lodging your development application unless an exception applies.

Note: The consent of the landowner is not required for a development application for development on land identified as “Consolidated Mountain Licence Area” or “Thredbo Alpine Resort Licence Area” on the Major Resorts Licence Area Map (PDF, 7.5 MB).

We recommend you contact the Alpine Resorts team and any other relevant agencies to discuss proposal.

Guides and processes

Superseded Mapping 

The following maps are provided for reference purposes only and are superseded by mapping provided on the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure on the NSW Planning Portal which apply to the Alpine subregions. 

Fire safety in the alpine resorts

We promote fire safety in tourist accommodation buildings.

The forms and resources below help in certifying and maintaining essential fire safety measures.

1. Annual fire safety statement

Each year, owners or leaseholders of buildings in alpine resort areas must submit a fire safety statement.

The statement confirms that an accredited practitioner (fire safety) has checked all essential fire safety measures and they have passed.

The statement confirms that an accredited practitioner (fire safety) has checked all essential fire safety measures and they have passed.

Visit Fire safety certification for fire safety statement forms.

Mail completed statements to PO Box 36, Jindabyne NSW 2627 or email them to [email protected]

2. Fire safety certificate

New or altered buildings must be issued with a fire safety certificate. A certificate must also be issued for each new or altered essential fire safety measure.

Once a fire safety certificate is issued, a fire safety statement must be submitted every 12 months.

Visit Fire safety certification for fire safety certificate forms.

3. Fire safety notice

Fire exits that include a fire-isolated stairway, passageway or ramp must display a Fire Safety Notice (PDF, 41 KB)

Geotechnical maps

The geotechnical maps mentioned in the policy are below. View the maps with the accompanying notes (PDF, 258 KB) 

Perisher Valley incorporates nine (9) maps. G1 illustrate the G-lines referred to in the policy, in Perisher Valley, as a whole. G1-1 to G1-8 illustrating more detailed G-line sections of Perisher Valley individually.

The maps below illustrate G-lines in the remaining five resort areas and three resort support areas referred to in the policy.

Building classifications for tourist and visitor accommodation

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has drafted the Building classifications for tourist accommodation (PDF, 185 KB) for consultation with stakeholders. It gives guidance on the most appropriate classification for tourist and visitor accommodation in these areas.

Building classification is important to ensure buildings and other public facilities are safe for the people who visit, work and live there. It also ensures fire and rescue services have appropriate access to buildings.

Frequently asked questions

Why has the department drafted the circular?

The draft circular explains the most appropriate building classification under the National Construction Code – Building Code of Australia. It also explains the requirements that development applications must meet for new building works under the relevant planning policy. This is the State Environmental Planning Policy (Precincts-Regional) 2021 – also known as the Precincts Regional SEPP. 

Based on recent feedback from stakeholders and certifiers, the draft circular simply clarifies building classifications in the alpine resorts.

Is the draft circular a new policy?

The draft circular does not introduce a new or changed policy. The department has drafted it to give clear guidance on our approach (as building regulator) to building classification in the alpine resorts. The guidance in the draft circular reflects the approach we have taken for the last 25 years. 

When the Minister for Planning became the consent authority (building regulator) for the alpine areas in 2002, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service’s approach to fire safety provisions in tourist and visitor accommodation buildings – consistent with Class 3 building type – was generally continued. 

The provisions under the draft circular apply to new building works to ensure they comply with regulatory policies for fire safety and accessibility requirements. 

Will this draft circular change the classification of my building?

Building classifications of existing buildings are set historically, based on approvals and certificates that have been issued previously. Works that have already been completed on buildings will not need to be changed.

Building classifications are re-evaluated where: 

  • there is a change of building use, or
  • future alterations and additions are carried out to existing buildings, or 
  • the regulatory authority requires upgrades to a building because an order has been issued for inadequate fire safety features or measures.

We have not designed the draft circular to reclassify every building across alpine resorts. Instead, it gives guidance for the desired building classes so that they have the most appropriate fire safety and accessibility provisions.

Will the draft circular make it too difficult to meet Class 1b and 3 requirements and stifle development?

The safety of people must always be a priority. Tourist and visitor accommodation buildings require a greater level of fire safety to protect people.

Projects that involve new works, such as alterations and additions to existing buildings and new buildings, must meet the requirements of the current edition of the National Construction Code – Building Code of Australia. 

During the time of lodgement of a development application or complying development certificate to the department or private certifier, the consent authority must consider if: 

  • an existing building has adequate provisions for fire safety, including passive and active fire safety systems
  • buildings should be upgraded.

Where buildings do not achieve an acceptable standard of fire safety, the consent authority may require certain building upgrades. Generally, building upgrades are in keeping with the percentage of building change. For example, section 64 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021 states that where building alterations are for over 50% of a building’s volume, a consent authority can consider either partial or full compliance and upgrade of an existing building.

Because of historic policies, many existing buildings already achieve Class 3 provisions for fire safety. A prime example of this is the inclusion of fire detection and alarm systems (with fire indicator panels) in tourist and visitor accommodation buildings that are better than the battery-operated smoke detectors in standard domestic or residential dwellings. 

During any project, if the department identifies that a building has inadequate fire safety provisions, it will work with the proponent to determine the required fire safety upgrades on a case-by-case basis. Many practical and reasonable outcomes have already been achieved for this across alpine areas.

In Class 1b and Class 3 buildings, more accessibility provisions may be required. The National Construction Code – Building Code of Australia also introduces accessibility provisions for Class 1a buildings. 

Will this draft circular stop me from living permanently in an alpine resort?

The draft circular is not a leasing or sub-leasing policy document. Existing leasing arrangements will stay in place.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service administers the leases in Kosciuszko National Park and alpine areas on behalf of the Minister for the Environment. 

Leases are provided for tourist and visitor accommodation purposes and the building must be occupied in line with: 

  • the National Parks and Wildlife Service Regulation
  • the Kosciuszko National Park Plan of Management
  • any specific lease terms. 

Lease holders should be aware of lease provisions and any specified maximum length of time that the building can be occupied. Under certain legislative circumstances, the National Parks and Wildlife Service can authorise longer term occupation of buildings.

How is this applied in the Victorian alpine areas?

There are fundamental differences between the planning legislation and leasing arrangements of NSW and Victoria. 

For example, Victorian alpine resorts are not within a national park. The Victorian planning scheme also contains an all-inclusive and broader definition of land use for ‘accommodation’ that allows people to use alpine buildings as homes, while NSW planning controls for the alpine areas explicitly prohibit dwellings as a permissible land use. 

In NSW, tourist and visitor accommodation is the permissible land use and buildings must be classified in keeping with the building’s approved use.

What are the next steps in finalising the draft circular?

The department will consider all the issues raised in submissions and may make changes to the draft circular or consider alternative approaches to building classification. Depending on the extent of change, there may be more consultation with stakeholders before the department finalises the draft circular and its position on building classification in the alpine resorts.

For more information, contact the Alpine Resorts team on 02 6448 8500 or email [email protected]