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Building and subdivision

Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

Part 6 (building and subdivision certification provisions) began on 1 December 2019

Building regulation and certification provisions in the updated Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) underpin the design, construction and safety of buildings in NSW. These provisions (legal conditions) work hand in hand with the Building Professionals Act 2005 and the Home Building Act 1989.

The updated EP&A Act addresses issues the Review of the Building Professionals Act identified. The updated Act gives building regulation and certification a clearer, more logical structure.

The key provisions for building regulation and certification are in Part 6 of the EP&A Act. This includes a clear requirement to ensure there is consistency between construction certificates and development consents.

The new Part 6 provisions:

  • remove interim and final occupation certificates
    This will not affect the ability to have staged occupation of buildings
  • create a new certificate for subdivision works, separating subdivision from construction works
  • give principal certifiers powers to issue directions to quickly act on non-compliant aspects of a development.

Overall, the changes promote an effective building regulation, certification and maintenance system by:

  • streamlining the complex building provisions into a single part of the EP&A Act, which will make them easier to use and reduce red tape
  • protecting the integrity of the planning system and strengthening community confidence by introducing measures to ensure construction is consistent with approved plans
  • requiring a building manual be prepared for specified buildings, so that important information about a building is more easily available.

For more information about these changes, read the following resources:

Transitional arrangements

The provisions for occupation certificates and subdivision certificates only apply to developments that were granted consent from 1 December 2019 onwards, when Part 6 of the updated EP&A Act began. The old building provisions still apply to consents issued before this date.

For details on transitional arrangements between the previous and updated EP&A Act, please see the:

The saved portions include the former:

These provisions continue to apply to:

  • interim occupation certificates
  • final occupation certificates
  • development consents in force or granted under those provisions immediately before 1 December 2019.

The former section 121ZP of the EP&A Act has been continued through clause 41 of Schedule 5 of the EP&A Act. This allows councils to continue to issue certificates as to whether there are outstanding orders or notices for a site.

More information

For more information email [email protected]

Refer to Buildings for an overview of the building regulation.